Introduction


At the end of this article, you will have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the Commission 111 Contact Code and how this may impact you. Should you need any assistance, feel free to contact our support department.

 

Home phone technology and dialling 111 education 


With traditional copper voice services slowly phasing out, consumers are transitioning to newer telecommunications technologies. As such, consumers may face difficulties contacting 111 emergency services during a power outage at the premises. These emergency services include: 

  • Ambulance
  • Police
  • Fire and Emergency 

Technologies and devices impacted

Some, not all, telecommunication technologies and devices simply will not register and function to their usual capacity during a power outage, such as:

  • Fibre
  • Fixed wireless
  • Home phones that use voice calling over the internet (VoIP)
  • Cordless phones
  • Medical alarms with no inbuilt battery 

If your landline is provided by Fibre or Fixed Wireless as mentioned above, you may experience issues placing calls during a power outage. Why? These technologies are impacted as they rely on power in the home as a means of operation. Unless you already have a backup power source or mobile phone using your 4G network, you will be unable to dial 111 emergency services. 

 

Code release date


As of August 2021, this code comes into force to ensure vulnerable consumers, or persons on their behalf, have reasonable access to an appropriate means to contact the 111 emergency service in the event of a power outage. 

Reference: Telecommunications Act 2001, section 238(3)(a)


If you or someone you know is classified as a vulnerable consumer per the Commission 111 Contact Code guideline, will be provided with an alternative method of contacting 111 Emergency Services during a power outage. 

 

Am I classified as a vulnerable consumer? 

 

Definition of a vulnerable customer

A consumer who is “at particular risk of requiring the 111 emergency service”

Reference: Telecommunication Act 2001, section 238(5)

  • An individual who relies on a home phone through (as mentioned) fibre, wireless network or VoIP when dialling 111 Emergency Services
  • Doesn't own a mobile phone and their only means of contacting 111 Emergency Services is via home phone
  • An individual who can demonstrate they need to contact 111 Emergency Services for health, safety or disability reasons

Note: if you have access to a mobile phone and are able to make calls to 111 emergency services, or your services are already protected by a backup generator or battery, then you will not qualify.


You will also need to provide sufficient evidence to support that you, or a person from your household you are applying on behalf of, are at particular risk of requiring 111 emergency services. Examples of documents/examples you can use as evidence include: 

  • Completed Electricity Authority ‘Notice of Potential Medically Dependent Consumer (MDC) Status’ form, which includes a certification from a DHB, private hospital, or GP. Visit Consumer Care Guidelines for further information. 
  • Protection order
  • Letter from a health practitioner (e.g., a GP)
  • Documentation of impairment (e.g., an ID card).


Raising a complaint with TDR

 

If you have an issue or complaint to raise concerning the Commission 111 Contact Code in place with your service provider, please contact them first for a resolution. If we are your service provider, please contact our support team to resolve the issue on 64 9 2224 699 or via email at support@nz.voipcloud.online.


Should there be a reason for the issue or complaint being unresolved within 5 working days of raising your dispute, contact the Telecommunications Dispute Resolution (TDR).

 

Our strategy to ensure your safety


We take the health and safety of our customers very seriously here. So, we've developed a Commission 111 Contact Code Application Form that can be easily found via our website > under about us > legal page - you will have direct access to submitting your application.


For all eligible vulnerable customers, we will offer you an alternative device to contact emergency services in the event of a power outage.

 

FAQs

 

1. How do I know if my technology is impacted? 

  • We recommend contacting your service provider to confirm your technology type and if you will be affected in the event of a power outage
  • A quick test drive may give you the information you need. Turn your power off from the main and try dialling 111 Emergency Services

2. My landline is provided by copper. Am I impacted? 

No. Copper technology does not rely on power in the home and will continue to work in a power cut.

  • As long as your devices are compatible and you will not experience issues contacting 111 emergency services on your landline during a power outage.
  • Refer to the above section: Home phone technology and dialling 111 education for further information. 

3. Is this new code being rolled out for all providers? 

  • Yes. All service providers are required by law to adhere to this new Commission 111 Contact Code by August 2021

4. What can I do to be prepared?

  • As a backup, keep a charged mobile phone readily available at all times
  • Keep a portable power adaptor nearby to charge your mobile phone in the event of an outage 

5. Yes, I meet the vulnerability criteria. What can I do to receive extra support? 

If you qualify as a vulnerable consumer, we highly recommend contacting your service provider and request further information regarding their vulnerable consumer form. If we are your service provider, please refer to the below contact points to learn more about this new regulation: 

  • Contact number: 0800 864 754 or 64 9 2224 699
  • Support email: support@nz.voipcloud.online
  • Website: Alternatively, head directly to our website to access our application form

6. Will I receive more than one device?

  • Per the emergency contact code regulation, we are only required to offer one means of contacting emergency services in the event of a power outage. Should you have any further questions, feel free to contact our support team.

7. Do I get to choose the device received? 

  • No. Consumers will be provided with a device arranged by us, which is already deemed both suitable and practical to contact 111 emergency services during a power outage.