TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC Gives VoIP 120 Days for E911

FCC Gives VoIP 120 Days for E911

Jack Decker (jack-yahoogroups@withheld_on_request)
Thu, 19 May 2005 13:08:30 -0400

By David Sims, TMCnet CRM Alert Columnist

As widely expected, the Federal Communications Commission issued a
decision today that Voice-over Internet Providers must provide access
to E911 service to their customers in 120 days. The decision surprised
few observers.

According to Reuters, the FCC 'unanimously voted to require
carriers to provide emergency call centers the location and telephone
number of callers who dial 911 from Internet phones and ensure that
callers reach emergency dispatchers instead of nonemergency lines.'

In the months leading up to the decision there were lots of sharp
words, apocalyptic predictions and political jockeying for position on
the issue, as one might expect over the issue of access to the
nation's nearly 6,200 "public safety answer points."

Some were sure the heavy hand of government would crush the innovative
entrepreneurs who created the VoIP industry in the first place, in
favor of the fat cats, the lumbering, established telcos who would
come in and simply sweep up all the profits made possible by others:

"They (indie VoIP providers) were in the market space first, they have
far better offerings, and much better pricing as well," wrote
TechKnow Times. "So how to kill them? Simple. Force them to have to
buy a service where the traditional telephone companies can set the
price. And what is one thing that the traditional phone companies
still pretty much have a monopoly on? The provision of 911 service."

Others argued that 911 is simply something you don't fool around with,
no matter how many quick bucks irresponsible upstarts are making at
the expense of public safety, what with not telling their customers
their 911 calls get routed to administrative offices and don't even
work after hours:

Full story at:

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