The purpose of a Commission 111 contact code is to protect vulnerable consumers by ensuring they have reasonable access to an appropriate means of contacting the 111 emergency service in the event of a power failure.
In the event of a power failure, a person accessing their landline via the fibre network may not be able to contact the 111 emergency service. This is because the equipment used to provide the fibre service does not operate without electricity. A person whose landline is provided for over the copper network will normally still be able to contact the 111 emergency service in an event of a power failure.
A Commission 111 contact code must therefore be in force before Chorus can stop offering copper services.
The Commission will be consulting with interested persons throughout the process of preparing the code. Interested persons include the New Zealand Police, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Director of Civil Defence Emergency Management and every provider of an initial call answering point for the 111 emergency service.
We have previously indicated that the development of the Copper withdrawal code and the Commission 111 contact code would be completed by mid-2020. However, due to COVID-19, our aim is now to have these codes in place by September 2020. We note that the statutory deadline for developing these codes is the implementation date (ie, 1 January 2022).