Emergency Call Answering Services (ECAS)
The ECAS answers all emergency calls and text messages made in Ireland and connects the caller to the required emergency service. It is a vital operator service provided to the public on behalf of the state.
In 2009, the then Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources awarded a contract to BT Communications Ireland Ltd (BT) to design, build, and implement the ECAS. This contract, known as the Concession Agreement, is between these two parties alone. The ECAS is funded entirely through the Call Handling Fee (CHF). This is a fee payable by the presenting telephone network operator and/or the telephone call service provider whenever a customer on their network calls the ECAS. ComReg annually reviews the maximum CHF that may be charged by the ECAS operator.
There are two primary ECAS centres or Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in Ireland located in Navan, County Meath, and Ballyshannon, County Donegal. Authorised Undertakings forward all emergency calls and texts to the ECAS and these are routed and answered by call handling agents located in one of these centres. The call handling agents onward connect received calls, where appropriate, to the required emergency service. BT’s Citywest and ECAS’s Navan data centres underpin necessary system resilience for the PSAPs.
ECAS Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) and Location Information Reference Offer (LIRO)
To provide legal and regulatory certainty, BT will be entering into contracts with the providers supplying 112/999 calls or location information to ECAS and these contracts will be known as the Reference Interconnect Offer (RIO) for Providers directly interconnecting to the BT ECAS, and the Location Information Interconnect Offer (LIRO) for providers not directly interconnected but using the BT ECAS to fulfil the 999 obligations in their Authorisation to operate. The RIO incorporates the LIRO.
Further details including examples of the RIO, LIRO and associated schedules are available on the dedicated 112.ie ECAS website.
The ECAS is paid for through the Call Handling Fee which is charged for each Emergency communication presented to the ECAS. Further information and the current rates are available on the 112.ie website.
Further Information on working with the ECAS including:
are available in the Service Providers section of the 112.ie website.