New emergency service platform launches for D/deaf and hard of hearing BSL users
Thursday, 16 June. Cardiff Wales. Launching on Friday, 17 June, a new service for British Sign Language (BSL) users is set to revolutionise access to the emergency services for around 150,000 users in the UK – and Ogi is right behind it.
999 BSL is a video relay service for D/deaf and hard of hearing BSL users, helping connect people with the emergency services through a British Sign Language interpreter. The new app and website connect a BSL interpreter with a caller within seconds, bringing access to the emergency services to more people than ever before, all year around.
Innovations like this are possible because of network broadband and mobile improvements across the UK, where service providers like Ogi are rolling out stable multichannel connectivity in towns and villages that have traditionally been seen as ‘harder to connect’. These game changing rollouts have seen full fibre broadband coverage in Wales increase from 19% to 27% of premises during 2020-2021, the highest year-on-year increase to that point and mean more and more people can now access the best experience when using new digital services like 999 BSL.
“This is an exciting new chapter for public services in the UK, demonstrating the power new technology has in revolutionising how we interact with products and services.” said Justin Leese, Ogi’s Chief Technology and Operations Officer. “Rolling out full fibre broadband services means we’re able to support innovations like 999 BSL with ease, helping people in rural communities – our towns and villages – benefit from the latest available technologies much faster.
“Here at Ogi, we’re excited about these innovations and believe this is only the beginning for new assistive technology.”
Access to 999 is available across Ogi’s multichannel service – using 999 on Ogi Voice or the new 999 BSL video relay service through full fibre for free, even if a customer’s account has been paused or is experiencing slow speeds for any reason.
For more information or to download the app, visit www.999bsl.co.uk.