911 Bug Jams Lines

from the please-hold dept

People in Louisville were unable to get through to 911 for two hours earlier this week after a bug in a software upgrade wouldn’t let operators disconnect calls. All of the city’s lines got jammed, so nobody could get through. After the furor of Vonage being blamed for deaths because its 911 system didn’t work exactly like a standard landline’s (a fact made very clear by the company) and the ensuing political fallout and overreaction, you’d expect heads to be rolling since an entire city couldn’t make 911 calls. The reaction? “the emergency management agency would work with the software vendor” to fix things. If the government is going to stick all sorts of new E911 rules and regulations on VoIP providers — and threaten to disconnect their customers if they don’t comply — because of a few highly publicized incidents, there should be some consequences for a company whose buggy software brought down an entire city’s system.

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Comments on “911 Bug Jams Lines”

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Jstahl says:


I’m not sure what inside line you have to Vonage, but until the government forced them to tell their customers they have no handle on 911 dialing I was not informed.

Also, as a new parent I was very upset when after several problems with their horrible customer support I found my 911 dialing had been turned off!

Vonage is a horrible company who throws every bit of their money at advertising instead of giving one cent to their technology.

The only people who are satisfied with Vonage are the ones who got in early, got a local number and never tried calling 911!

Kat o Nine Tales says:

Re: Vonage

I can’t speak to Vonage specifically, but the VoIP services in general, mainly Lingo and Vonage as far as I am aware, have been a godsend to me; I, myself, find it a less-expensive option to forgo any wired phone service and use a cell and cable internet, but several of my friends in the U. S. Air Force got service before PCSing overseas–and they still have local numbers, allowing us to stay in closer contact despite some technological problems.

The only problem in terms of the 911 waivers for those guys is, there needs to be a way when you have to sign those E911 acknowledgments that require a local address somewhere in the U.S. to either sign up with an overseas base or consulate or to note that one is overseas and does not expect the same kind of 911 functionality.

Josh says:

Re: Vonage

The problem with VoIP companies is they market their service as phone service. This is what is causing all of the panic about 911.

I unlike some people (I guess) researched fully the 911 capabilities of VoIP before I purchased it. However, even without 911, I would have still purchased my VoIP service simply for cost savings and feature benefits.

I live in Florida; even without phone service Florida requires that all phone lines still carry basic 911 services. So I leave one of my old analog phones hooked up for the express purpose of having a 911 phone if needed.

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