TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Getting the 411 on 911 Service

Re: Getting the 411 on 911 Service
14 Nov 2005 08:05:42 -0800

Aoife M. McEvoy wrote:

> In most areas of the country (exceptions include remote parts of
> Alaska), the dispatcher who picks up your call also sees your phone
> number and street address pop up on screen. This "location
> technology" is known as Enhanced 911 or E911.

Has virtually the entire U.S. converted over to 911? Seems to me it
wasn't that long ago that outlying suburban and rural areas retained
traditional telephone numbers although a conversion process was going
on. Further, has the whole country gone to "enhanced" 911, not just a
central dispatcher?

> In my opinion, the FCC's action is long overdue. Sure, the new
> requirements will help prevent future tragedies, but it's a shame that
> families had to suffer because of VoIP's known failings before
> something was done. These limitations have been well documented for
> quite a while.

I'm not sure I agree about the "limitations being well documented". I
think many consumers simply saw an ad for deeply discounted telephone
service (VOIP) and went out and bought it. They didn't realize that
the service did not includes some basics people have taken for granted
for years. The companies, being unregulated, had no mandate to clearly
advertise this limitation.

Please remember that individual ordinary consumers do not read
technical magazines or newsgroups. I hate it when the technocrats get
all hissy when consumers get burned because they're not up on the
latest marketing scams.

> Consequently, complying with the FCC's ruling is likely to be a huge
> financial undertaking for any VoIP company, and it's possible that
> some of the smaller providers will disappear -- or services that are
> in development now may not see the light of day.

So maybe VOIP isn't such a great deal that it was made out to be.

Why isn't Judge Greene (or his successors) on top of these things?

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