Court Says Arbitrary VoIP E911 Deadline Can Stand… Even As The FCC Ignores It

from the and-that-means-what-exactly? dept

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from AT&T, from whom I buy VoIP service. They let me know that they’re working hard to get E911 service running and they can offer it to me today on one small condition: I have to give up my existing phone number. A big part of the reason I signed up for VoIP in the first place was to keep the existing phone number I’ve had for many years, even though I was moving — so that seemed like a pretty big catch. I called AT&T, and was told that, even though the letter made it look mandatory, I could keep my old phone number, but I wouldn’t be able to get E911 service yet. This would have been a problem since the FCC had originally decreed that anyone without E911 service would be cut off by November 28th — except that the FCC decided that its November 28th deadline wasn’t so much of a deadline after all. However, there was already a lawsuit about the deadline, and the court has now said that the deadline can stand. The only issue is that the deadline isn’t the same any more. A week ago, the deadline meant that I would be losing my VoIP service unless I changed my phone number by November 28th. Now, it seems to only mean that VoIP providers can no longer market VoIP service in places where they can’t offer E911 — even if they offer perfectly decent 911 service. This, despite the FCC giving mobile operators years and years (and delay after delay) in getting their own E911 service in place.

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Comments on “Court Says Arbitrary VoIP E911 Deadline Can Stand… Even As The FCC Ignores It”

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Derek Lomas says:

how about the real issue?

The E911 law is one of the scariest on the books, given that it provides law enforcement with the location of cell phones to within 50 meters.

imagine if the government said ‘by the end of 2005, every citizen must be tracked to within 50 meters.’ People would be RIOTING in the streets.

How different is it that the government will be able to track you by your phone? The only way to avoid big brother is to give up my sidekick? They can pry it from my cold dead fingers. 😛

Wish some people would stand up against the mass-surveillence!!

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