TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: More About E-911 and VOIP

Re: More About E-911 and VOIP

20 May 2005 09:05:17 EDT

--- You wrote:

Extending immediate E911 obligations on the smallest, most vulnerable,
but most innovative IP-based communications providers does no one any
good (except for providing a quick political sound bite). In the end,
such actions might mean that no one will ever see the emergency
response capabilities that IP- based communications working
cooperatively with NENA could have produced.

--- end of quote ---

The above quote, attributed to Mr. Jeff Pulver, is disingenuous at
best and just plain false at worst. As part of their deliberation
process, the FCC spoke directly with people already affected by the
lack of reliable 911 functionality on their VoIP service. In fact,
lives have already been lost because of this shortcoming. Saving those
lives in the future would be substantially more than just "a quick
political sound bite."

If I invented a new kind of engine that promised 100 miles per gallon,
most people would agree that would be a good thing. If that engine was
unable to meet current federal emission standards, however, I would
not be permitted to sell it. I would be able to test it and develop it
but I would not be able to sell it to the general public until it did
meet those standards. I could complain that the government was
"stifling my ability to move forward with this radically new engine, a
machine that would change our lives for the better" but I would still
be required to meet current emission standards before going to
market. My complaints that the Model A Ford had no such restrictions
placed on it would not carry much weight.

We have a similar situation with VoIP. apparently, lives have already
been lost or, at least, imperiled. Regulations exist for a reason. In
this case, the reason is the preservation of life and property. We
must decide if that is at least as important as the preservation of

Charlie Wilber
Hanover, New Hampshire

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