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By GoofyCyborg
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RayKahl wrote:1. Am I allowed to do this, as I'm not making an emergency call?
Absolutely not - the 999 people will get very upset with you for wasting their time, putting others at risk and your voip provider will get a formal complaint for allowing it (though how they can prevent you I've no idea).

Even voip providers are not allowed to test without a prior arrangement and a lot of form filling.
RayKahl wrote:2. Is it permissible/acceptable to say that it is a test call?
See 1
RayKahl wrote:3. What else should I say (or not say) to the emergency operator?
See 1

Trust me, if you can make an ordinary call, you can make a 999 call.
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By WelshPaul
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I am curious as to why someone would want to test 999 in particular. Would the same requirement exist for a BT landline, Virgin Media landline, or via a mobile phone service provider?

I recall back in 1999 when a telecoms team at a large company was trying obtain management approval for a VoIP solution with BT and Cisco being the suppliers where someone tried to put in this stumbling block in place for the system. The person was then asked if they had the same requirement for their home landline and mobile phone. The issue was dropped.
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By RayKhal
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WelshPaul wrote:I am curious as to why someone would want to test 999 in particular.
Paul, it's a matter of due diligence. Not so much for me as an individual subscriber, but for any organisation installing a PBX there is usually a requirement to demonstrate to the customer that 999 actually works. You never know, there may be an unforeseen glitch in the dialplan that prevents it working.

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By WelshPaul
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Okay... That makes sense but couldn't you use other numbers for testing?

For example, in the UK 999 or 112 are the emergency numbers.

So couldn't the dial plan be tested by trying 123 (talking clock) or 154 (voipfone balance number)?

We also have 1471, 1571, and 1572 for 4 digit test numbers?

I would think that trying those plus standard UK numbers would be good enough for a testing the dial plan.
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By SteveAtVoIP2Go
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I think this is a very valid VoIP Customer concern and as a VoIP service provider, I for one have made a note of this and will look at giving my Customers the option of carrying out a test. The way I see it, the Customer could place the account 'on test' for a certain period of time, say 10 minutes, where calls to 999 would not be connected in the usual manner. There would have to be some way to provide feedback to the Customer so that they could have confidence that the call would have gone through had the account not been on test.
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By WelshPaul
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SteveAtVoIP2Go wrote:the Customer could place the account 'on test' for a certain period of time, say 10 minutes
Be careful how you implement this, too short a time, or if time flies by, your customer will end up calling 999 for real. There is also a case of "what if"! What if an emergency happens for real during this test period? Nobody is going to be able to dial 999 for real. :frowning2:

Imagine a small business... lets say 6 people, the boss puts the phone system into 999 test mode for 10 mins only 3 minutes later he suffers a stroke or heart attack and is laying on the floor unconscious... nobody can dial 999 in all the panic. :astonished:

Ok they may have mobiles, but they may not! :thumbsdown:
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By N.Andrews
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I read the responses above with interest and general agreement...when testing though you seem to miss a very SIGNIFICANT point. When you make a 999 call normally, the network provider identifies your physical location from the physical termination point of your circuit, then routes the call to the appropriate regional 999 Emergency Call handling centre.

When deploying an enterprise wide VoIP capability with break-out via SBC only located in London data centres, we need to ensure that the Enterprise VoIP system is passing the appropriate information for each end station for the network provider to route the call appropriately.

I am currently sitting in a Manchester Call centre, the voice connection to the public network is in London. I need to be sure that if I lift the handset in front of me and dial 999 I get the Greater Manchester emergency services and not the Met.

Therefor, comments around if you can make a general call you can make a 999 call are only partially correct.

So I still have the question, who do I talk to to arrange a test call to the emergency services.
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By WelshPaul
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You must register your phone number and address with the Emergency Services data base so that when you dial 999 or 112 they have your details on screen in front of them. :relaxed:

You cannot simply 'arrange a test call to the emergency services' as you put it. Some claim to have dialled 999 and stated that their a telecoms engineer and that their testing the line but I strongly recommend you do not do this.

When you pick up the phone and dial your mobile what CLI is displayed? This is the CLI that will be displayed on the 999 call and this should be the number that is registered on the Emergency Services data base. If your serious about making a 999 test call then I guess you could contact your local police station or the non emergency 101 service and ask what the protocol is.
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By Xanatoast
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If anyone had any further question about why it might be a good idea to check 999 calls work.
We recently found that 3 numbers out of around 500-ish that we provide couldn't call the police during an attempted break in at the site.

The company we're doing trunking through doesn't allow 101 or 111, and as far as I can tell any other short number beginning with 1 either as it turns out.

It was a very unwelcome surprise.
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By dcowan
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I took @WelshPaul's advice today and called 101 to ask about 999 test calls. They told me to just call, and clearly say that it's a test call and there is no emergency. I called and said something along the lines of "I'm testing a PBX, this is not an emergency, this is a test call". The operator said no problem, could I please just take your initials for our records, have a good day.
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By WelshPaul
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Hi @dcowan and welcome to UKVF. 👋🏻

Interesting... Let us know if you get a complaint or warning from your telecommunications company (I don't think you will). 👍

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