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

Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem

Thor Lancelot Simon (
Wed, 23 Mar 2005 21:18:27 UTC

In article <>, DevilsPGD
<> wrote:

> 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.)

Your claim above "emergency call centers do not allow..." is false; in
fact, it's a key element of Vonage's public-relations effort on this

*If* Vonage were willing to pay the same fees other local exchange
carriers pay for 911 connectivity *in each LATA*, *then* Vonage could
route 911 calls correctly. Avoiding this *cost* has been a major
competitive win for Vonage all along and it is hard to not see it as
a major reason, if not _the_ reason, why Vonage has fought state
regulation as a local exchange carrier: by avoiding regulatory mandates
like 911 service standards Vonage avoids the cost of compliance.

What is truly irresponsible is to offer a "911" service that does not
have the same user experience that Americans have been trained to expect
from 911 for several decades. In a just world, Vonage would pay and pay
indeed for their decision to make the provision of such a service part
of their public-relations effort aimed at avoiding service quality
regulation. This is a choice they made, not one they had forced on
them; there are VoIP providers out there that did the right thing.

People's safety in emergency situations should be quite simply out of
bounds for this kind of political maneuvering. Of course, it's not,
but darn it, it ought to be.

Thor Lancelot Simon

"The inconsistency is startling, though admittedly, if consistency is to be
abandoned or transcended, there is no problem." - Noam Chomsky

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