TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Vonage and 911 Saga may be Drawing to a Close

Vonage and 911 Saga may be Drawing to a Close

Gordon S. Hlavenka (
Fri, 11 Nov 2005 10:01:35 -0600

I posted a month or two ago with a sort of "Vonage 911 digest",
following the tone of their emails as the FCC "deadline" approached.

The deadline was postponed, then canceled, and I thought that would be
the last I heard from Vonage about 911. But I was wrong.

Even after the cancellation of the FCC requirement, I continued to get
strident emails urging me to view their 911 info page and activate my
911 service. These were the same emails I'd received before, just the
earlier (less panicky) versions. Also, I continued to receive
recorded transmissions on my Vonage number. Interestingly, these now
don't fall through to voicecmail as they once did; they ring a few
times and then hang up. But I recognize the 800 number on CID.

Now I believe I may actually be hearing the last from Vonage on 911;
yesterday I received this email:

> Dear Gordon,

> We have sent numerous notifications prompting you to provide us with
> location information (street address) where you will be using your
> Vonage service. This information is required to activate your 911
> Dialing service for phone number 1630-------. As we have advised you,
> all VoIP operators are required by the FCC to provide 911 Dialing
> service to all of our customers.

> Beginning November 18, we will use the following address to route
> your 911 calls unless you immediately login to your web account
>, select the
> Features link on your dashboard, and insert your correct street
> address information in the 911 Dialing feature box:

> [ My address appears here ]

> No action on your part is necessary if the address above reflects the
> accurate location where you use your Vonage service. In addition,
> please note that if you have multiple Vonage lines you must activate
> 911 Dialing for each line separately.

> Again, if the address above is incorrect, simply login to your web
> account (,
> select the Features link on your dashboard, and edit your street
> address information from the 911 Dialing feature box.

> Please note that 911 calls are routed based on the street address you
> have registered with us, so if you move your device you must
> re-register your new street address. Also, if you add a line to your
> account you will need to activate 911 Dialing by providing us with
> your street address for that line as well. Remember, you can easily
> update your street address at any time through your web account.

> We appreciate your immediate attention to this matter, and we look
> forward to providing you with reliable broadband phone service.

> Sincerely,

> Vonage Customer Care

So they are going to default their unregistered accounts to the
addresses provided at signup. I imagine that this will allow them to
report "100%" to the FCC, and blame any errors on the customer.

I originally got my Vonage line as an inexpensive way to "park" a
couple of phone numbers, however that didn't pan out (although it
looks like I may be able to work it in January) so I've been paying
them $15/mo for a line that is never used. The only traffic on my
Vonage account has been a couple of test calls and their constant
efforts to get me to activate the 911 service. In retrospect I s'pose
I could have spent my money more wisely :-)

Anyway the ironic thing is that I'm moving to a new address, so now
instead of a line with no 911 service I'm going to have a line with
erroneous 911 service. (I know, I can just login and change the
address. But, in the interest of Science, I'm evaluating their process

Gordon S. Hlavenka
If your teacher tells you to Question Authority
Should you do it?

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