Ofcom Fines U.K. Mobile Phone Operator Three GBP1.9 Million--Update

By Razak Musah Baba Features Dow Jones Newswires

The U.K. communications regulator hit Three UK with a 1.9 million pound ($2.4 million) fine on Friday for failing to ensure phone users were able to call emergency service providers at all times.

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Ofcom said it fined Three--the U.K. subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited--after an investigation found the mobile phone operator's breaches weren't deliberate or reckless, but did pose a safety risk.

"Following our investigation, Ofcom found Three had breached the requirement to ensure uninterrupted access to the emergency services. The breach of the rules was not the incident itself, but rather the weakness identified in Three's network," the regulator said.

The penalty was cut by 30% to reflect Three's co-operation with the investigation, which included admitting to the breaches identified, Ofcom said.

Three said it took the requirement to provide customers with uninterrupted access to emergency services "extremely seriously."

"Three therefore acknowledges Ofcom's decision today to fine Three for a single point of vulnerability on Three's network. However, this vulnerability has not had any impact on our customers and only relates to a potential point of failure in Three's network," it said on Friday.

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"Ofcom recognizes that the circumstances surrounding the October 2016 fibre break outage were exceptional and outside of Three's control," the mobile operator added.

Write to Razak Musah Baba at razak.baba@wsj.com; Twitter: @Raztweet

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 16, 2017 05:53 ET (09:53 GMT)