TMCnet - World's Largest Communications and Technology Community

Wholesale VoIP Feature Article

If Your VoIP Service Doesn't have 911, It Should

February 18, 2014
By Rory J. Thompson, Web Editor

As a longtime volunteer firefighter and now emergency medical technician (EMT), I’m well aware of the importance of 911 and knowing the address of where help is needed. But with the proliferation of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services worldwide, a new wrinkle has been introduced.

Landline phones come with a fixed address: When you call 911 from one of those, your location pops up immediately on the dispatcher’s screen. But call 911 from a mobile VoIP phone, and your location is not so evident. When you’re clutching your chest or gasping for air, that might be a problem (he said understatedly).

Technical Support Representative Cameron Nutter of wholesale VoIP provider VoIP Innovations (News - Alert) addresses that very issue in a blog post titled “911 Over VoIP.” In it, he takes a close look at this critical issue.

“Before signing on with a VoIP provider, it is essential that you understand their E911 service and how exactly it works. 911 over VoIP, for the most part, is very similar to 911 over PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network lines), but with a few key differences,” Nutter writes. “A typical PSTN telephone number is associated with a fixed address. With VoIP, and the portability that it brings, a telephone number can be used from practically anywhere in the country that has access to the Internet. Keeping address information for your DIDs accurate and up to date is an absolute must. Many providers (such as VoIP Innovations) offer test services that will allow you to verify that your E911 information has been properly uploaded and is working as intended.”

And that’s a key point with which the FCC (News - Alert) agrees.

“The FCC has issued requirements to make sure that 911 over VoIP is up to the challenge of delivering what is arguably the most important phone call that you can make,” Nutter observes. “Another important item to note is that at this time, the FCC only requires VoIP providers that are fully interconnected (VoIP services that use the PSTN network) to provide access to emergency services.”

To that end, Nutter listed some helpful tips from the FCC about 911 and VoIP. They include:

  • Have a clear understanding of any limitations of your 911 service;
  • Inform children, babysitters and visitors about your VoIP service and its 911 limitations, if any;
  • If your power is out or your Internet connection is down, be aware that your VoIP service may not work. Consider installing a backup power supply, maintaining a traditional phone line or having a wireless phone as a backup;
  • If you have questions about whether or not the phone service you are receiving is an interconnected VoIP service, contact your service provider for further information.

Remember, not all VoIP services work with 911. But the time to find out is now, and not when you need it the most.

Edited by Blaise McNamee
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Vine
  • Blog
  • YouTube
Popular Articles
Wholesale VoIP - Wholesale VoIP Inquiry Form
Wholesale VoIP - Wholesale VoIP Service Overview
Wholesale VoIP - Wholesale VoIP Top 10 Reasons
White Papers

How to Sell Wholesale VoIP Services, Part 1: Choosing your Target Market

Working for North America's largest Wholesale VoIP Provider, I often get the chance to engage with customers who are excited about launching their new VoIP business.

How to Sell VoIP, Part 2: Choosing what VoIP Services to Sell

Last week, we discussed choosing your target market for VoIP services. This week, we will review the different VoIP businesses available in the market today.

Selecting a Wholesale DID Origination Provider Part 1: Footprint and Features

With today's technological craze, the VoIP industry is booming. The increase in VoIP technology has created an abundance of service providers and wholesale DID origination providers.

Selecting a Wholesale DID Origination Provider Part 2: Monthly Recurring Cost and Non-Recurring Costs

As mentioned in Part 1 of this 3-part series, today's VoIP market is booming. With this increased interest in VoIP comes a wave of service providers and wholesale VoIP carriers.

Selecting a DID Origination Provider Part 3: Support, Number Porting, and Billing

As discussed in Part 1 and 2 of this white paper, choosing a DID origination provider can be an overwhelming task in today�s thriving VoIP market.
VoIP Innovations Audio Podcasts
Wholesale VoIP - Wholesale Telecom Prices as Volatile as Gas - VoIP Innovations President Podcast Audio Podcast

Wholesale Telecom Prices as Volatile as Gas - VoIP Innovations President Podcast

  • DIDS
  • Wholesale VoIP Origniation
  • Wholesale VoIP Termination
  • Wholesale VoIP Tool-Free
  • Enhanced 911
Titanium III
  • DID Warehouse
  • API
  • Automation
  • LNP
  • Enhanced 911
Follow VoIP Innovations on Twitter
VoIP Innovations Blog

blog comments powered by Disqus

Technology Marketing Corporation

800 Connecticut Ave, 1st Floor East, Norwalk, CT 06854 USA
Ph: 800-243-6002, 203-852-6800
Fx: 203-866-3326

General comments:
Comments about this site:


© 2014 Technology Marketing Corporation. All rights reserved.