TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Internet Phone Carriers Still Seeking 911 Replies

Internet Phone Carriers Still Seeking 911 Replies

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 12 Aug 2005 23:11:36 -0400

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the top U.S. Internet phone providers
told U.S. regulators this week they are still trying to obtain
acknowledgments from customers that they know the limitations of
dialing 911 with their service.

Some customers of Internet phone service, known as Voice Over Internet
Protocol (VOIP), have had trouble getting help when dialing the
emergency number 911, which prompted the Federal Communications
Commission to order changes.

Unlike traditional phone service, not all Internet phones provide 911
dispatchers with the location of callers, and some calls have been
routed to administrative lines that are not always monitored.

The FCC in May ordered companies to fix those issues by late November
and, in the interim, to get acknowledgments from all customers that
they understand those service limitations. Analysts estimate there are
more than 2 million VOIP customers.

Vonage Holdings Corp., the biggest U.S. Internet phone provider, said
it has received acknowledgments from more than 90 percent of its
customers but was unable to predict whether it would achieve the 100
percent goal by an August 29 deadline.

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