Ofcom fines BT £800,000 for failing to provide text-to-voice service

British telecom regulator Ofcom has fined BT £800,000 for failing to provide an improved text-to-voice service for its customers with hearing or speech impairments between April and September last year.

The Next Generation Text Service assists users to have more natural conversations using speech as well as text, and is accessible on devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

In October 2012, Ofcom told all UK landline and mobile phone providers to launch their service by 18 April 2014.


BT missed the deadline due to technical problems with the sound quality of emergency calls. It launched Next Generation Text on 24 September 2014.

Ofcom investigation found that BT had 18 months to meet that requirement and did not do so for five months after the deadline for complying.

“The size of the penalty imposed on BT reflects the importance of providing an improved text relay service to its customers with hearing and speech impairments,” said Claudio Pollack, consumer and content group director at Ofcom.

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