TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Level 3's VoIP Services Offer Critical E-911 Capability

Level 3's VoIP Services Offer Critical E-911 Capability

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Tue, 04 Jan 2005 14:16:16 -0500

Level 3's VoIP Services Offer Critical E-911 Capability to 60 Million
U.S. Households

Company Plans to Extend Coverage Further Throughout 2005

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Level 3 Communications,
Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) announced today that its operating subsidiary can
now provide E-911-enabled Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services to areas
encompassing approximately 60 million households nationwide. Level 3
made the announcement on the eve of the Consumer VoIP Summit being
held in conjunction with the International Consumer Electronics Show
in Las Vegas.

Over the course of the past year, Level 3 has been deploying its E-911
VoIP solution in more than 300 markets across the country and plans to
expand its E-911 coverage further throughout 2005. The E-911
solution, which is a foundational component of Level 3's broad suite
of VoIP services, enables ISPs, cable companies, local phone
companies, long-distance providers and others to build E-911
functionality into the VoIP services they offer to enterprises and

"Adoption of VoIP in both business and residential markets is growing
at exponential rates," said Sureel Choksi, executive vice president of
services for Level 3. "It is increasingly important that VoIP service
providers be able to deliver E-911 in order to meet the demands of the
market, as well as fulfill important public-safety needs. Level 3
made a significant investment in building its E-911 network platform
for VoIP in 2004, and we believe that this capability is a key reason
why leading communications companies are choosing Level 3 as their
preferred provider of wholesale VoIP services."

E-911 (for "Enhanced 911") delivers address-specific information to
public safety agencies whenever someone makes a 911 call, enabling
first responders to be dispatched to the scene of an emergency even if
the caller is unable to speak or if the call is suddenly disconnected.
But delivering E-911 presents challenges with VoIP, because
determining the location of the caller is difficult in an IP-based
network transaction. Today, many VoIP service providers use so-called
"10-digit routing" to deliver basic 911 capability to their customers.
Although this method is relatively easy and low-cost to implement, it
provides emergency responders with only a phone number and not the
location of the person requiring assistance.

Level 3 has leveraged its existing nationwide network to interconnect
with 911 Tandems and establish dedicated connections from its network
to PSTN switches that serve Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in
over 1,500 rate centers around the country.

"In our view, mainstream consumers will not fully embrace Voice over
IP as a replacement for the traditional land line unless they are
confident that it will deliver the public-safety features they are
accustomed to," said Donna Lachance, senior vice president of Consumer
Voice Services for Level 3. "We believe the E-911 capability we are
embedding into the Level 3 network represents enormous progress in
addressing this issue, and that it will serve as a real differentiator
for Level 3 in the marketplace. We are committed to maintaining a
leadership position in this area, and we look forward to expanding our
E-911 footprint even further in the coming quarters."

Level 3 has embedded E-911 functionality into its suite of business
and residential VoIP offerings. For more information about Level 3's
business and consumer voice services, visit booth 71047I inside the
Consumer VoIP Techzone at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas,
or visit Level 3 has also developed
a position paper on E-911 and Voice over IP, available at

Full press release at:

How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

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