Monday, October 10, 2005

Voice over IP and emergency service

Dispatch Monthly

While providing some important cost-saving s to consumers, current VoIP technology does not provide for the transmission of the caller's physical location along with the voice call. If the caller dials 911, there is no inherent protocol within the VoIP technology for routing the call to the nearest PSAP, or to display the caller's location, telephone number or other information.

Another issue involves E911 funding-- VoIP users can arrange for E911 service with their Internet provider, and yet not pay any applicable 911 surcharges for the service. There is anxiety among public safety agencies, county and state-level 911 agencies that E911 system funding could be reduced as more persons convert to VoIP telephone service, and drop their wired telephone service.

These are the sort of issues which providers must address if VOIP is to work.

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