Free mobiles offered after JT outage

JT will distribute free mobile phones to any households that do not have one after a systems collapse left landlines unable to make emergency calls earlier this month, the company’s chief executive has said.

Graeme Millar (28917079)
Graeme Millar (28917079)

In response to the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority’s announcement that it is to investigate the telecoms firm due to the large-scale outage, Graeme Millar said that he believed his company had identified and rectified the ‘highly unusual’ issues that caused the problem.

He said that he would welcome the independent review, which would be like ‘checking our homework’ following JT’s own investigation into the matter.

‘We are pretty sure that we have taken all the actions to rectify it, but actually if we’ve missed anything and if this report identifies that, then it can only be good for making sure that it doesn’t happen again,’ he said.

‘I think what’s really important here is that we have quickly identified what the issues are. We’ve been very public and open and transparent.

‘I deeply, deeply regret and apologise for the outage and I would say the core thing is to move on, not ignoring it, learning the lessons from it and making changes.’

Mr Millar said that the outage was caused by a system glitch that could affect companies around the world but disrupted JT’s network first.

‘We found the failure mechanism and actually it sits in all the networks,’ he said.

‘What our report doesn’t cover is that we’ve talked to our equipment supplier and many of our partners in that work. JT made the changes that it needed to do in its network. Those same changes are now being rolled out among networks the world over, so we actually discovered something that was a mechanism that no one knew existed.

‘When you have an outage that is a once-in-every-132-years event, you should expect it to be something very unusual and not run of the mill.’

Mr Millar added that the failure to track calls from landlines during the outage was because the entire system was shut down.

He said, however, that emergency calls could always be made from any mobile phone and that JT was prepared to offer a handset to any household without one.

‘Even if it doesn’t have a SIM card or core credit, a mobile phone will make a 999 call,’ he said.

‘One of the things I’ve said since is that even though almost everyone has a mobile phone, if there are any households out there that just have a landline and don’t have a mobile phone, JT will give them a free one.’

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