The network failure occurred in July 2020, leaving customers unable to make calls, including to emergency services
The Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority (JCRA) has imposed a £90,000 fine on Jersey Telecom (JT) after technical issues caused a shut down of the network in the summer of 2020.
During the disruption, customers using the network could not access internet or mobile services, including calls to 999 and emergency services. Thankfully, it appears that no lives were lost as a result of the network issues.
The specific cause of the disruption has not been elaborated.
According to the regulator, the investigation into the network error had been “long and complex”, with Jersey Telecom complying with inquiries throughout the process.
"JT accepts the final decision made by the JCRA on this important issue. We take any matters like this exceptionally seriously and have worked closely and productively with the JCRA through the process,” said JT’s interim CEO John Diamond.
"I would like to apologise again to our customers for the disruption, and to thank our teams who have carefully and collaboratively worked through the sequence of events which led to the problem in July 2020, to ensure it will not be repeated."
This is not the first time JT has faced fines from the regulator over breaches of its licence obligations, which require it to ensure access to emergency services is always available.
Around a year ago, the JCRA issued JT a £675,000 fine, as well as issuing rival Sure a fine of £135,000, for a series of repeated failures from both operators between January and April 2020. Network outages on two occasions had left customers without access to emergency services, while on four other occasions Jersey police had to step in and handle all incoming emergency calls.
JT said at the time that it had “identified and resolved” the relevant problems, as well as the specific circumstances that had led to the incidents. Sure, similarly, said they had reviewed procedures and made changes to ensure that such disruption does not happen again.
In more positive news, the island of Jersey is finally looking like it may get access to 5G spectrum this year, with the JCRA last month launching a consultation, seeking to assess ‘interest and demand’ in 5G services. The 5G spectrum auction process had been paused back in 2020 as a result of both the coronavirus pandemic and infrastructure security concerns.
“We’re pleased to be restarting the process for licencing 5G spectrum for Jersey, and enabling future benefits for local mobile users. As the pandemic’s impact recedes and the situation with network security requirements becomes clearer, we believe that now is the right time to pick up this matter again and look forward to re-engaging with interested parties and islanders about 5G,” said the JCRA.
Are the UK’s networks are reliable as they need to be? Find out all the latest network news from the operators themselves at this year’s live Connected Britain conference