The new Commerce Commission Contact Code effect February 2021. The Code has been developed to protect vulnerable consumers who rely on their home phones to contact 111 in the event of a power failure.

The information below explains what devices and technologies are impacted during power outages, alternative options to call 111 emergency services and how to contact Rural Wireless for more information or disputes.

Commerce Commission
111 Contact Code

The purpose of the Commerce Commission 111 Contact Code is to ensure that vulnerable consumers or persons on their behalf, have reasonable access to an appropriate means of contacting the 111 emergency service in the event of a power outage.

The Code supports consumers who can no longer call 111 in a power outage because they have moved to new home phone technologies like fibre and fixed wireless. These technologies need a power supply in the home to work, meaning they will not work in a power outage.

Under the Code, telecommunications service providers must advise new customers and remind existing customers at least once per year that their home phone may not work in a power outage. Providers must also tell customers how they can protect themselves, and where to go for support.

Home phone customers who don’t have an alternative way to contact 111 in a power outage can apply to their provider if they are at particular risk of requiring to call emergency services for health, security or disability reasons. If they qualify, their provider will work with them to determine the best product for their particular needs, at no cost to the consumer.

The Code comes into effect, February 2021, though providers have until August 2021 to make the process for extra support, available to vulnerable customers.

What does this mean for Rural Wireless customers?

When there is a power outage, if you are a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) customer, this means your phone will not operate to call 111 as it works digitally via your internet connection – which also won’t be working. Items like cordless phones and medical alarms will also likely not work unless you have an alternative connection which does not rely on power to operate.

Most people will have a cell phone available to call 111 if required, however in some instances this service may not be available due to location.

If you are an Rural Wireless VOIP customer who is a vulnerable person (a person who is at particular risk of requiring 111 services, e.g. with a medical condition) and who doesn’t have an alternative means of contacting 111 in the case of a power outage, please call or email us and we can work with you to find a suitable solution, at no cost to you.

*Note there is an application form to complete and some proof of vulnerability is required. We can help you with these if required. 

If you have a complaint or dispute with Rural Wireless Limited under this Code, this can be referred to an  Industry Dispute Resolution Scheme .

Read over the complete  Contact Code here.

How to apply

You can download the PDF version of the  application form here.

Please print this form, fill in and return to Rural Wireless Limited. 

Rural Wireless Limited.