Stubborn Users Stymie Carriers' E911 Plans

from the upgrade,-dangit dept

In all the furor over E911 on wireline VoIP systems, we've noted several times the short deadline the FCC gave VoIP providers, while holding cellular operators to a much more lenient standard. Even after having several years to implement E911, some wireless carriers are petitioning for another extension: carriers that chose handset-based location solutions were supposed to have 95% of their customers using compliant handsets by the end of the year, but say that some people just won't upgrade. It's the same issue many rural carriers raised before -- some customers won't give up their old analog phones because they offer wider coverage and better service in some areas. The FCC isn't likely to take action against the carriers, and their "non-compliance" covers up the real kicker: that just 43% of the country's 911 call centers have upgraded their equipment to be able to handle the location information. Guess they bought a few too many winter boots.

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  • identicon
    S. Cohoon, 9 Jan 2006 @ 11:38am


    The complexity and cost of wireless E-911 phase 2 is considerably greater than that faced for VoIP E-911. They had do invent and deploy new technologies. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) has been working with VoIP vendors and carriers for 2 years on specifications for long-term implementation of E-911 which will leverage the investment in wireless phase 2 E-911 infrastructure, when it is deployed. The ability to offer an intermediate-term solution with existing technology has been available for over a year and so the FCC deadline was not particularly onerous and appears to have been the necessary kick in the butt the VoIP industry needed to start doing the right thing.
    There is still the issue of the investments that need to be made in the PSAP's throughout the country. These quasi-governmental organizations are chronically underfunded, a fact which should be an embarassment to politicians at all levels of government.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anon, 9 Jan 2006 @ 12:37pm

      Re: E-911

      Nothing embarasses politicians, ever. Didn't you know? Otherwise, there wouldn't be so many stupid things going on in politics dealing with different technologies

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    KGordon, 9 Jan 2006 @ 1:09pm


    I love my vonage account, and I use it from everywhere... All over the world I've used my vonage line.

    When i travelled to Tokyo I hooked it up in my hotel room to make free calls back to the states (and recieve them). This sort of thing is the benefit of VOIP.... Now how exactly is vonage supposed to report my location to 911 services if my phone works anywhere there is a broadband connection?

    This is technological ignorance on the part of the regulating committees, either that or they are being paid off by telcom/cable companies that can easily offer 911 location.

    When I signed up with vonage a long time ago the site was VERY explicit and told me OVER and OVER again how the 911 service would work, and asked me to enter an address that could be forwarded to 911. It was in bright red every time I logged into their site, and they sent me repeated emails. As far as i'm concerned they have done a great job to make the service available for those that want it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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