TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem

Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem

DevilsPGD (
Tue, 22 Mar 2005 16:24:32 -0700

In message <> Jack Decker
<jack-yahoogroups@withheld on request> wrote:

> A Vonage spokeswoman said the company was surprised to hear of the
> litigation and pointed out there are numerous references, both on the
> Internet and material mailed to customers, explaining the 911
> service's limitations and its proactive nature. Abbott's office
> contacted New Jersey-based Vonage about a week ago asking for
> marketing materials and other information; the company hadn't heard
> anything since it replied with the materials two days ago, the
> spokeswoman said.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Vonage should not be
offering 911 at all, rather, they should be highlighting the fact that
emergency call centers do not allow Vonage to route emergency calls to
the right place (so their only option is to dump the call to an
administrative number.)

Personally, I'd rather have attempts to dial 911 get the "Stop, this
phone does not have 911 service" then get through to someone who can't
or won't help.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But wouldn't the ideal arrangement be
like here? A number designated for 'emergency but not 911' phone is
terminated on the consoles of the persons who respond for police, etc,
and they are tipped off "if this line, with its unusual cadence in
ringing goes off, it is to be treated like any other emergency call".

Our dispatchers answer not only the occassional 911 call, but they
also answer for the city hall offices. The PSAP people (at Vonage, and
elsewhere) are told to connect with them as needed _using one of the
back lines_ on the city hall group; a line which would almost never
get calls on its own. Now, if _that phone_ rings/flashes, treat it as
a priority emergency call. The same woman sitting there taking calls
for the city hall centrex/switchboard sees that one phone give out a
continuous (never pausing) ring with the light on the wall flashing at
a furious pace says 'ah, it is an emergency call from a system which
cannot (for whatever reason) use 911. She answers it and makes
dispatch as needed. Does not seem like that major of problem. That
single phone, by the way, also has a caller-ID device on it, and a
rather detailed map on the wall as well, so the dispatcher gets the
essence of the desired information, even if not every single bit of
it. Ah, but that would involve _training_ the dispatchers in possibly
a new procedure. Do you think their Civil Servants Union would allow
that sort of a requirement?

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