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Second Belgian telecoms operator to handle emergency calls

07:58 22/02/2024

Two telephone operators will be used when people dial to reach emergency centres, Belgium’s federal telecommunications minister Petra De Sutter has announced.

Currently calls only go through the Proximus network. The changes come following several Proximus network outages, notably in July and August 2023, causing emergency numbers to be inaccessible.

Ministers agreed an amendment to Belgium’s Telecommunications Act and the new arrangements apply to calls to all emergency numbers, including 101 (police) and 112 (ambulance and firefighters).

De Sutter, Belgium’s vice prime-minister and also responsible for civil service, public enterprises and postal services, noted that a fund supplied by the telephone operators themselves will be set up to finance the so-called “redundant” back-up network.

“Calls to emergency services will still go through the infrastructure of two operators, instead of one at present,” she said.

It is not yet clear which other telecoms company will apply to be chosen as the second operator.

Written by Liz Newmark