TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Appeals Court Denies Stay on Web Phone 911 Rule

Appeals Court Denies Stay on Web Phone 911 Rule

Reuters News Wire (
Tue, 15 Nov 2005 16:35:59 -0600

A U.S. appeals court has refused to put on hold requirements that
Internet telephone providers offer customers full 911 emergency call
services by November 28, a provider said on Tuesday.

The Federal Communications Commission in May ordered that companies
like Vonage Holdings Corp., the biggest U.S. Internet phone company,
ensure customers who dial 911 are connected to a dispatcher who
receives the caller's location and phone number.

Those requirements are due to take effect on November 28. But several
smaller Internet phone companies argued that the deadline was
unreasonable, noting that the wireless industry has had much longer to
make full emergency 911 services available.

"We will still proceed with our appeal and still believe that the
FCC's E911 Order for VoIP Service Providers is arbitrary and
capricious," said Jason Talley, president and chief executive of Nuvio
Corp., an Internet phone provider.

Nuvio was one of the companies who challenged the rules and sought an
injunction against the FCC. Vonage was not involved in the
lawsuit. Their request was turned down by the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia.

The FCC recently clarified its decision and said companies did not
have to cut off subscribers who did not have full 911 service, but
said the carriers could not advertise or add customers in areas where
full 911 service was not available.

An FCC spokesman had no immediate comment.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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