|Metro Newspaper article Friday 29th June 2012, Copyright Associated Newspaper Ltd|
I have had the privilege to work on the technical implementation of the Operator Services and Emergency Services feature on the UK network, on three occasions:
- The first in the mid-1980s in the Plessey Poole factory on the System X Operator Services Subsystem (OSS), with a talented team developing the technology for the core exchange and the Operator console and voice distribution elements.
- The second occasion in the early 1990s with Mercury Communications Operator Services, implementing the OSS in the carrier network to handle all the operator services, from Directory Enquiries, Operator Assistance, and of course Emergency Services. This gave me a real insight and respect for those taking the calls from the public, their cool, calm and professionalism of the operators and emergencies services bureaux staff in handling customers at their most vulnerable. It also taught me respect for the service itself and I have to say a sprinkling of contempt for those members of the public who would misuse it making unnecessary calls for trivial and quite frankly stupid things such as asking for a taxi!
- The third occasion I have been fortunate to be part of the very important standardisation process for the migration of the emergencies services handling to the VoIP world, with the UK independent standards body, the NICC Emergency Services Location group, and helped to produce the UK standard for this. This taught me another valuable lesson in the dedication and free contribution a number of very committed and talented people from around the world make to ensure the safety of the public.