The purpose of the Commission 111 Contact Code is to ensure that vulnerable consumers, or persons on their behalf, have reasonable access to an appropriate means of contacting the 111 emergency service in the event of a power failure.
The code supports consumers who can no longer call 111 in a power cut because they have moved to new home phone technologies like fibre and fixed wireless. These technologies need a power supply in the home to work, meaning they will not work in a power cut, without an independent power source.
Under the Code, telecommunications service providers must tell new customers, and remind existing customers at least once a year, that their home phone may not work in a power cut. Providers must also tell their customers how they can protect themselves and where to go for further support.
Home phone customers who don’t have an alternative way to contact 111 in a power cut can apply to their provider if they are at particular risk of needing to call emergency services for health, security or disability reasons. If they qualify, their provider will work with them to determine the right product for their particular needs, at no cost to the consumer.
The Code comes into effect in February 2021, though providers have until August 2021 to make the process for extra support available to vulnerable consumers.
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