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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 418. Updated Tuesday, 15 July 2014

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Technology update call for Triple Zero
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The Department of Communications is to review the operation of the national Triple Zero (000) number.

Public consultations have begun and a discussion paper has been published.

The review aims to ensure the national operator arrangements take advantage of new technologies and are able to provide improved services into the future.

The Department said the Triple Zero service was highly trusted and reliable for all Australians when they needed to request emergency assistance.

While it had saved many thousands of lives over the years, now technologies could make it even better.

"The current arrangements for the national Triple Zero operator were established when voice calls from landlines dominated the telecommunications landscape. Now around two-thirds of calls come from mobile phones," the Department said

Emergency service to be reviewed

"Communications technology continues to advance, presenting new and exciting opportunities to improve the existing voice arrangements as well as new ways for telecommunications users to access assistance."

It said the review was an important step in exploring how the Triple Zero service could take advantage of telecommunications advances and respond to changing community expectations.

"New services such as the Emergency + Smartphone App, which displays the phone's GPS coordinates for the caller to read out to the emergency operator, is a great example of how modern technology can be used to improve the Triple Zero service," the Department said.

"The review will focus on the Commonwealth-regulated national Triple Zero operator and Commonwealth regulation relevant to the Triple Zero emergency call service."

It would also work closely with the State and Territory emergency service organisations, as they carried the responsibility for receiving and responding to emergency calls transferred from the national operator.

Individuals and organisations can contribute to the review by completing an online survey or making a written submission.

Submissions will be accepted until 22 August and the review will complete its report by March 2015.

Further information can be found at this PS News link.

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