Failure of emergency numbers: Orange explains itself

Paris (AFP)

The telephone operator Orange will publish the results of its internal investigation on Friday, after the breakdown of emergency numbers last week during which at least five deaths occurred, including that of a 28-month-old child in Vendée.

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 breakdown which has unprecedentedly affected the whole country.

Orange’s internal investigation “aims to identify the precise causes of this incident, to study the alert process and to issue recommendations to draw all the necessary lessons”, 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 investigation is separate from the “security and integrity control” audit of Orange’s network and services requested by the government, and led by the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi) ; its conclusions are expected within two months.


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.

“I had a meeting on Thursday morning with the various State services as well as Orange,” he explained during the presentation of Anssi’s annual activity report. “At 99.9% it is a failure, it is even clearly identified,” he said.

“It is imperative to continue to develop mastery of these” telecommunications “systems, both in the face of breakdowns, equipment that malfunctions, that” buggy “, but also in the face of attacks,” he underlined.

– Upcoming hearing of Stéphane Richard at the Assembly –

Orange CEO Stéphane Richard, who made a public apology just 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 does not happen again,” said LREM deputy Roland Lescure, who chairs this commission, to AFP.

“The State has very clear specifications vis-à-vis Orange. Obviously, it has not been respected,” said this parliamentarian on Franceinfo.


The blackout had provoked strong political reactions, and renewed the debate on the system of emergency numbers, which some players want to merge, without it being known whether such a merger would have really made it possible to resolve the failure 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, specifying that he was speaking “subject of course to what the inquiries will say, in particular the inquiries judicial proceedings that are open “.

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

© 2021 AFP

For Latest Updates Follow us on Google News

PREV The famous Crusoe dachshund passing through Saguenay
NEXT Lesneven showcases Brittany in the final