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Failure of emergency numbers: Orange explains this Friday – National failure of emergency numbers


For several hours, on June 2 at the end of the day, numbers 15, 17, 18 and 112 were for many French people inaccessible or reachable only after multiple attempts. A failure that has, in an unprecedented way, affected the whole country. Orange’s internal investigation, the results of which will be published this Friday, “aims to identify the precise causes of this incident, to study the alert process and to issue recommendations to draw all the lessons. necessary, ”recalled the former France Telecom, historically responsible for redirecting emergency calls. The first explanation put forward by the group had been a “software failure”. This survey is separate from the “security and integrity control” audit of Orange’s network and services requested by the government, and managed by the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi); its conclusions are expected within two months.

“At 99.9%, it’s a failure”

Guillaume Poupard, the general manager of Anssi, however already confirmed, Thursday that a technical failure and not a cyber-attack was at the origin of the failure of the emergency numbers. “On Thursday morning, I had a meeting with the various State services as well as Orange,” he explained during the presentation of the annual activity report of Anssi. “At 99.9%, it’s a failure, it’s even clearly identified,” he said. “It is imperative to continue to develop the control of these” telecommunications systems, “both in the face of breakdowns, equipment that malfunctions, which bug, but also in the face of attacks,” he stressed.

Hearing of the CEO of Orange, Wednesday, at the Assembly

Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, who issued a public apology right after the incident, must also be heard next Wednesday by the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. “We want to understand what may have happened and ensure that it will not happen again,” said LREM deputy Roland Lescure, who chairs this committee. “The State has very clear specifications vis-à-vis Orange. Obviously, it was not respected, ”said this parliamentarian on France Info.

The blackout had provoked strong political reactions, and renewed the debate on the system of emergency numbers, which some players want to merge, without knowing whether such a merger would have really made it possible to resolve the outage more quickly. The authorities had set up alternative 10-digit numbers to reach the emergency services, numbers that had to be found on the internet and on social networks. “We deplore the victims who are likely to have been caused by this serious incident”, Prime Minister Jean Castex said last Friday, by specifying that he was pronouncing “subject of course to what the inquiries will say, in particular the judicial inquiries which are opened”.

To date, five suspicious deaths have been observed in Morbihan, in Haute-Saône, in Vendee, on Reunion Island, and in the Bouches-du-Rhône.

National breakdown of emergency numbers: our file

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