Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

VoIP Providers Looking To Push Back E911 Deadline?

from the watch-the-FCC-rollover dept

Earlier this year, after a few unfortunate incidents involving emergencies and VoIP phones, the FCC declared that VoIP providers had 120 days to implement E911 service. What was amusing about this was that they had given mobile operators years to set up E911 service, and had pushed back the deadline a few times (and some operators are still pushing for the deadline to be moved back even more). Perhaps the VoIP providers have noticed that the FCC seems to rollover pretty easily when asked for an extension. After all, they've repeatedly pushed back the deadline for VoIP providers to get their customers to admit that VoIP 911 acts differently than regular 911 service. So, it's no surprise to hear that some VoIP providers are likely to push for an extension on deploying E911 service, claiming that they've run into technology problems. Of course, that's a different story than was being told when the FCC first made the order. At that time, many VoIP providers claimed they were already close to offering E911 anyway, so it wasn't a big deal. Still, perhaps the reporter on the article is a little confused -- because it sounds like the reporter has mixed up the VoIP E911 issue with the mobile phone E911 issue. At one point, the article claims that VoIP providers looked to use GPS in handsets for VoIP E911. That makes almost no sense -- since almost every VoIP provider this order applies to doesn't involve mobile handsets, and regular telephones (which they do use) don't have GPS chips in them. So... perhaps the whole article is really about mobile E911 -- where carriers have already been asking for extensions, rather than VoIP E911.

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