TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: New Technology Poses 911 Peril VOIP Not Part of Emergency

Re: New Technology Poses 911 Peril VOIP Not Part of Emergency

Dave Garland (
Wed, 20 Apr 2005 23:43:52 -0500

It was a dark and stormy night when wrote:

> My county charges a $1/month 911 tax as part of the phone bill. Will
> a VOIP provider serving me also charge that fee? I doubt it because
> they're exempt from regulation. Seems to me VOIP wants a free ride --
> no fee but full service. That's wrong.

Perhaps. But perhaps the financing mechanism is wrong. It's
reasonable to look at the alternatives. Why does your county charge
as part of the phone bill? Why not as part of the property tax (that
would seem most equitable), or a county income tax, or a portion of
the sales tax? Do they charge for fire protection by a surcharge on
matches and lighters? Do they finance the libraries by a tax on books
and magazines?

> Please don't tell me my 911 tax on my phone bill shouldn't be there.
> It IS there and until it goes away, you have no argument. I don't
> think it's fair that people like me have to pay this tax while VOIP
> comes in, without paying such taxes, and demands a free ride.

True. So why aren't you belaboring your county about the unfair way
they've chosen to charge for something that you deem a general
community necessity?

> As far as VOIP goes, be honest with your customers and tell them
> you're running a discount store. You gotta schlep home the washer
> yourself, hook it up yourself, and get it serviced yourself. For some
> people, that's a great deal. Years ago discount stores made no
> pretense of being anything else. Please don't pretend you're a mature
> full service company because you're not.

Of course. But is *sounds* like Vonage is in fact telling people.
There's no reason why the county 911 can't use CID on a non-911 line to
access their database, except that they don't want to be bothered.

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