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

Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem
24 Mar 2005 10:15:15 -0800

Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:

> *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.

Excellent points.

The states in my area allow a 911 fee to be tacked on to phone
bills. The money goes to the run the 911 call centers.

I presume VOIP don't have this charge. As you say, not having
this (and other charges) give VOIP a cost advantage over traditional
services. But they want it all -- full connectivity to special services
without paying for it.

IIRC, it was previously discussed here the VOIP fails to send the
calling number for Caller ID displays, so the recipient gets a
meaningless 111-111-1111 display.

As to the editor's comments, there are conventional phone numbers that
will reach the emergency center and will be answered (at least in my
area). But how would a VOIP know what number to use, esp when the
caller can "float" and be anywhere? Further, such numbers change when
area codes change or for other reasons; that was a factor in
establishing "911" as a unified constant emergency number in the first

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: If the caller wishes to travel around,
as for example with a cellular phone, that certainly is not the VOIP
carrier's fault. But Vonage, as far as I know, deliberatly takes two
or three days *after* receiving an email request from someone asking
to be included in the PSAP database to detirmine _where_ to route the
call which gets _aliased_ in dialing to '911'. In larger metropolitan
areas, of course, most everyone gets redirected to the same number. In
smaller, more rural areas like mine, Vonage has to inquire of the
local authorities _exactly where_ the call is to be routed. They found
in their own research that the 'county seat' for Montgomery County,
Kansas is Independence; that the jail and courthouse are here, and
that in fact, Independence has its own police department as well, so
it was easy enough to inquire of local authorities, "which phone
number should calls aliased to our 911 be funneled through?" And Lisa,
they do _not_ get all ones or zeros or some other flaky number on
their caller ID display, they get an actual number, although as the
lady told me, "at first glance, the screen display looks odd; it is
not what we usually see for an Independence or Independence Rural
location." When Vonage wrote me email to say it was 'now turned on'
they did include a cautionary note: "this only works correctly if
you are stationary in location. If you travel around or move to
another location it may not be the best way to reach emergency res-
ponders." PAT]

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Telecom dailyLead from USTA: "Huawei Seeks Deals With Nortel, Lucent"
Go to Previous message: John Levine: "Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem"
May be in reply to: Jack Decker: "Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem"
Next in thread: Thor Lancelot Simon: "Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page