O2

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 13th December 2018.

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Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK economy of the O2 data failure of 6 December 2018.

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to reduce incidences of data outages by mobile phone companies.

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the economic effect of mobile data outages on the UK economy in each of the last three years.

Photo of Liam Byrne Liam Byrne Shadow Minister (Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) (Digital Economy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the public services affected by the data outage experienced by O2 customers on 6 December 2018 are planned to receive compensation for the disruption to service.

Photo of Margot James Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

We work closely with the telecoms sector on matters of resilience and security through the industry led Electronic Communications Resilience and Response Group. Furthermore, the Communication Act 2003 (section 105A) requires telecoms operators to have appropriate measures in place to manage risks to the security (covering confidentiality, integrity and availability) of networks and services. Telecoms operators are also required to notify Ofcom of security and resilience issues (including service outages) which have a ‘significant impact on the operation of a network or service’ (section 105B Communications Act 2003).

Ofcom reports annually on the number and scale of security incidents, including impacts (ie numbers of customers affected) through their Connected Nations report.

Compensation arrangements linked to a service incident are a matter for the company but Ofcom will be discussing the company’s plans with them.

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