TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Will 911 Difficulties Derail VoIP?

Re: Will 911 Difficulties Derail VoIP?

lookemintheye (
12 May 2005 10:25:52 -0700

Not all Service Providers are scrambling. The better business
oriented VOIP service providers are diligently maintaining phone
location databases that interface with their switches and provide
correct and normal location info to 911 dispatchers.

I am with CallTower, who is a 5 year old VOIP unified communications
company. We are oriented toward companies with 11 - 1000 employees and
in our agreement with our customers, is a clause to be initialed that
the customer must inform us if they move one of our Cisco phones to
other premises. And when our customers move office premises, we
update our location database and do it with pride and accuracy.

While our service product is designed to deliver Fortune 500 feature
sets to smaller businesses, and our high value product allows us to
incur the expense of accurately maintaining our 911 database, we would
welcome strong guidelines that require others to do the same. The
cost of inaccurate (or missing) 911 location info is not only
potentially life-threatening to VOIP users, it loads additional cost
onto the emergency response system.

Thanks for listening.


Jack Decker wrote:

> Regulation


> In recent months, 911 has quickly become a VoIP industry hot button,
> and a major headache to service providers who have enjoyed a largely
> regulation-free business environment absolving them of the need to
> provide emergency calling services similar to those required of
> landline telephone providers.

> But the climate is rapidly changing and VoIP service providers are
> scrambling to find solutions to the 911 dilemna. And, with the threat
> of federal regulation requiring VoIP providers to quickly implement
> 911 service looming, some providers are saying they will be forced to
> severely limit their service markets. One major operator, AT&T, says
> it may have no choice but to pull the plug on current customers.

> A recent allegation that an infant in Florida died after her mother
> could not reach an emergency services operator through the family's
> Vonage service, and lawsuits against Vonage by state attorney generals
> in Connecticut, Michigan and Texas over the company's 911 limitations,
> have put a lot of heat on all US-based VoIP service providers.

> Adding to their new difficulties is a recent significant change in
> composition of the Federal Communications Commission. When led by
> former Chairman Michael Powell, the FCC maintained a hands-off
> approach to IP telephony. But in March, President Bush appointed the
> less VoIP-friendly Kevin Martin to replace Powell, and when the
> commission next meets on May 19th, it is poised, for the first time,
> to directly regulate VoIP by requiring providers in the US to offer
> emergency calling services through traditional 911 systems.

> The big problem for VoIP providers is that there is no easy 911
> solution.

> Full story at:

> How to Distribute VoIP Throughout a Home:

> If you live in Michigan, subscribe to the MI-Telecom group:

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