The group of 116 numbers (i.e. 116 000 – hotline for missing children, 116 111 – child helplines, 116 123 – emotional support hotline) includes pan-European, continuous and free of charge telephone lines for the provision of services with social value. The initiative, launched by the European Commission, is supported in Poland by the Ministry of the Interior and Administration and by the Office of Electronic Communications.
On 2 September 2008, a meeting with experts and representatives of telecommunications chambers invited by the President of UKE took place at UKE. The purpose of the meeting was to elaborate a common model for interconnection settlements for calls to 116xxx numbers.
During the meeting both the representatives of operators and experts stressed that the services provided via 116xxx numbers should not be treated as a source of revenue. Therefore operators have agreed that they will not charge for interconnection traffic to 116xxx numbers. This means that operators have agreed to cover the costs related to the engagement of their networks in the provision of such calls within their own scope. Alternatively, it has been proposed that the settlements could be based on a flat rate for all traffic in the amount of PLN 1.22 per month, paid to the terminating operator.
Operators have unanimously stated that their priority is to implement the service in a smooth manner and the proposed model with interconnection traffic being not charged should facilitate the implementation process and simplify the settlements to a maximum degree. Operators have declared that they will open the 116 111 numbering range in their networks starting from 1 October 2008, independently of whether appendices to interconnection agreements will be signed or not.
The President of UKE calls on operators who are not members of the telecommunications chambers for a positive attitude towards the decisions adopted during the meeting.
Thanks to smooth cooperation of the parties involved, access to numbers beginning with 116 for people in need is becoming a reality and Poland will be one of the first countries where this initiative is fully operational.