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VoIP Providers Given 120 Days to Provide 911 Service

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the in-the-event-of-an-emergency dept.

Communications 626

linuxwrangler writes "According to this SFGate article, federal regulators have given VoIP providers 120 days to provide 911 service to their customers. The vote came after testimony from people including a Florida woman who had her infant die after being unable to call 911 from her internet phone. VoIP providers are also required to notify their customers of the deadline and of the limitations of VoIP 911 service."

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120 days.... (4, Funny)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582744)

Wow...I'd hate to be head of that project...

Re:120 days.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582784)

That's four times as much time as you'd get for an EA project!

Re:120 days.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12583061)

"Harry Potter: Hot Hogwarts Studs Volume 4"

Now in all gay-video stores.

Re:120 days.... (2, Insightful)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582817)

Well this is all nice and good, but it's also proof that the feds don't understand the internet yet. Since I can plug a VoIP phone in anywhere, how is the dispatch going to know where you are like they would with a POTS line? Run a traceroute??

Tha' DINGO took my BABY! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582858)

please help!!!!

Re:120 days.... (5, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582897)

> proof that the feds don't understand the internet

No, it's proof that the feds don't CARE what the technical limitations are. If you want to offer dialtone, you have to support 911 emergency calls. If a given technology can't support 911 calls then they don't want it being used for telephone service.

People have died because of this. They don't really care why it's difficult to fix.

Somehow I think the technical difficulties will be solved. Even if it means a database of IP address to geographic location mappings.

Re:120 days.... (3, Interesting)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582956)

Even if it means a database of IP address to geographic location mappings.

Only if IP's corresponded reliably to physical locations, which is broken to start with and gets even works when you start throwing in VPN's and tunnels.

Re:120 days.... (2, Insightful)

nzkbuk (773506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582983)

Even if it means a database of IP address to geographic location mappings
What about ISP's that give dynamic addresses to Cable / DSL ?

Or maybe someone who runs their own asterisk box for family / friends and all calls go out using only 1 account ?

Re:120 days.... (3, Insightful)

michrech (468134) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583000)

Hate to break it to you but people have not died *because* of this. They died because of a lack of understanding on *their* part.

Yes, I'm sure Vonage (and others) could have put a "hair dryer" style sticker on the top of the ATA that read something like "Warning -- Do not use for 911 calls if you are in danger", but the information (last I looked, anyway) was available as to what happens when you dial 911.


Read this [] if you liked calling BBS's.

Re:120 days.... (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583002)

People have died because of this. They don't really care why it's difficult to fix.

911 service only makes sense if you're using the thing as a fixed installation. If you're travelling with it, then what's the point?

RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582929)

Under the order, VoIP carriers must provide a way for customers to update their location and callback numbers when they travel.

So the only proof you provide is that you're an idiot.

Run a trace route? (2, Interesting)

deft (253558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582939)

Sure, I guess thats really important, if you dont want to TELL THEM WHERE YOU ARE WHEN YOU CALL.

This is like that russian pencil, Million dollar US space pen email I get all the time.

Re:Run a trace route? (1)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582978)

This is like that russian pencil, Million dollar US space pen email I get all the time.

You mean, untrue? []

Re:120 days.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582941)

Given that cell phones will automatically dial the 911 service for whatever area you're in when you use 911, I can't imagine that it's going to be hugely difficult.

Re:120 days.... (2, Interesting)

jtn (6204) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583035)

Right. Magic box just work when Grog press 911! Grog get helpy service good!

Just because you don't want to understand the technical limitations behind addressing a location-specific service to a non-location-specific service doesn't mean you can just wave your hands around and say "Make it so".

Re:120 days.... (1)

TerminaMorte (729622) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582969)

I would imagine that this isn't an issue for most people.

The problem is that when you're calling from a residential area and have VoIP service, obviously they know your name, address, etc.

I would imagine that everyone would be appeased by allowing police to be able to easily see who is the owner of the line.

It's a hell of a lot better than misleading people about the limitations of VOIP, resulting in deaths

Re:120 days.... (4, Informative)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582977)

Currently, with many VoIP providers, you can log in to their website and explicitly tell them where your phone is. If you move, you update this info. The order currently only mandates that user-supplied info be used but strongly suggests that they expect automatic configuration in the future.

As for the traceroute question, the answer is, "Yes." However, I expect to see some resistance on this from the other telecom providers since it means that there will have to be an automated mechanism for finding out what physical line an IP address is connected to that is queriable by third parties. I can imagine all sorts of abuse for this sort of thing, but it seems to be a necessity to ensure emergency services.

Re:120 days.... (1)

trevick (670470) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582980)

Well this is all nice and good, but it's also proof that the feds don't understand the internet yet. Since I can plug a VoIP phone in anywhere, how is the dispatch going to know where you are like they would with a POTS line? Run a traceroute??

Easy. The VoIP tells the dispatch where you are physically located. How does the VoIP provider know where you are physically located? They ask you.

At least, that's how it worked for me. This isn't an unreasonable request by the feds at all.

Re:120 days.... (1)

airjrdn (681898) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582989)

The 911 info is for one location. If you take the phone somewhere else and need assistance, you're on your own.

Re:120 days.... (1)

oGMo (379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583003)

Seemed to work in the Matrix. :-)

Re:120 days.... (1)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583031)

Oh, RTFA, damn it... I was surprised to see that their solution actually makes sense.

Under the order, VoIP carriers must provide a way for customers to update their location and callback numbers when they travel. Failure to update that information would cause an emergency operator to assume the call was coming from the last registered location.

Re:120 days.... (4, Informative)

bfields (66644) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583055)

Since I can plug a VoIP phone in anywhere, how is the dispatch going to know where you are like they would with a POTS line? Run a traceroute??
From the article:
Under the order, VoIP carriers must provide a way for customers to update their location and callback numbers when they travel. Failure to update that information would cause an emergency operator to assume the call was coming from the last registered location.

The order also requires VoIP carriers to explain to their customers the capabilities and limitations of the emergency response service they are getting with their Internet phones. Connection to a 911 operator, for example, would not be possible for a VOIP customer if there is a power failure or loss of Internet connection.

So I get the impression the relatively straightforward cases, like VOIP on a home DSL line, are expected to be handled automatically, but the more complicated cases--tunneling your connection back through your home network or whatever--fall under some sort of "well, we warned you, and gave you a way to tell us where you were, it's not our fault if you didn't bother" defense.

--Bruce Fields

No worries... (1)

xv4n (639231) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582853)

Wow...I'd hate to be head of that project...

Five boxes of instant soup are on the way!

Re:120 days.... (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582869)

Yeah, this is a big "holy shit" moment for VoIP groups. I can just _hear_ the landline and cell phone companies gurgling with glee.

Of course, whichever VoIP group gets a working solution (assuming any do before the deadline) will patent the concept of dialing 911 on VoIP, block all the others from implementing it and thus eliminate their competition within 120 days.

Re:120 days.... (1)

nzkbuk (773506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582946)

The solution is much easier. Simply pipe all 911 calls to the call center serviced by the VOIP provider.
Let that call center deal with the problem.

I know it's a really bad solution, but this is a really bad regulation

Re:120 days.... (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582873)

> Wow...I'd hate to be head of that project...

You're telling me. I googled for 120 days [] and my ass is still sore.

Out of top 10, 9 links point to DeSade's "120 Days of Sodom" (and Pasolini's movie depiction thereof in "Salo"), and as if it weren't enough trouble retrieving my bitten-off nipples back from the goddamn pigeons, the remaining link link points to something called "Windows XP Professional x64 Edition trial software", which I don't even wanna think about! Squick!

the real number (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582747)

is 912.

VoIP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582749)

Chapter 1 As I positioned my cock at the opening of the enema bag and let loose a stream of piss, I glanced down at Coach squirming with obvious delight as the golden nectar filled his rectum. "Yeah, fucker!" Coach moaned, "that's our jock piss mixin' in that bag and fillin' up my shitty ass! Gonna cut loose with some real football stink soon. Fuck!" "Fillin' you up with premium piss, Coach. Feel good?" "Fuck yeah! I live to play dirty, man! Gimme all you've got!" After squeezing the last drop of my nectar into the bag, I returned the bag to the hook on the pole. Dropping down to my knees, I tackled Coach's reeking pouch with my face. Sniffing and slurping at the bulging pouch. The heady aroma and funky taste got my adrenelin pumping. "Smell that jock, motherfucker!" Coach roared, slapping the side of my helmet. "Taste all that stink. This jock goes back to my pro ball days and never's been washed. Fuckin' full of stale piss, cum, sweat and buttstink from me and my buddies!" "Fuckin' jock raunch!" I moaned, sniffing and sucking on the filthy pouch. "Smells and tastes so fuckin' good, Coach! I love manstink!" "Yeah? You like it stink and dirty, Denny?" "I'm a fuckin' pig for stink, Coach! I belong in a trough filled with the filth of men!" "Fuckin' pig!" Coach roared, hocking up a wad of spit and sending it spewing onto my helmet. "Yeah. I'm gonna give you manstink alright. Gonna fuckin' give you all the stink you ever dreamed of." "Yes! Please, sir!" I practically begged. "I want all of your stink. All of your filth!" With a sigh, Coach slid the nozzle out of his ass. Raising it up between his muscular thighs like an erect cock, he rubbed it over the already filthy pouch of his jockstrap. I watched as a brown slime spread out onto the material from the nozzle. A powerful stench of ripe sewer swirled up my nostrils. The pungent aroma of Coach's shitchute. "There's a jock's real stink, Denny!" Coach hissed. "The odor of buttslop is a jock's genuine stink!" "Aw fuck!" I gasped, dragging my nose over the slimey, stinking pouch and breathing the stench deeply. The warm goo, a combination of piss, shit and anal juice spread out in a thin film over the hairs of my moustache, nose and lips. My mind reeling with lust, I opened my mouth and engulfed Coach's rancid pouch once more. The tart tang of dirty asshole swirled within my mouth. It drove me into a heated frenzy of slurping and sucking of Coach's pouch and hard groping of my own cupped pouch. All the while that erotic stink saturated the twin canals of my nostrils. "Worship the jock stink, motherfucker! Live for that fuckin' stink, man!" "Mmmmmm!" I groaned. "Fuck!" "Oh yeah! The jock of stink is giving you a sample of his raunch, fucker!" "More! Please, Coach. Give me more of your stink. I want it. I need it!" "My ass is a fuckin' sewer, man! It's packed with shit and piss. Wanna play some hardball in jock buttslop?" "Yes! Yes!" I groaned, horny yet somewhat frustrated by Coach's slow, methodic temptations. Here was a man who had played the game many times before. A man who utilized every bit of strategy to get his opponent exactly where he wanted him to be before unleashing his brute force to gain pleasure. Coach's tactics was doing a number on me. My body was trembling. My heart racing with lust. My flesh prickling with goose bumps. My cock throbbed within my jockstrap oozing pre-cum into the athletic cup. My balls ached as they churned my spooge. My asshole twitched. I was breaking out in a sweat of animal heat and depraved lust. "Get up on your knees, boy!" Coach bellowed. With some reluctance but with mounting anticipation, I jerked myself up, kneeling, my hands rubbing my crotch. "You got me so fuckin' hot, Coach!" I rasped. "I'm so fuckin' horny for you right now." Coach flashed me a wicken grin, as he undid his chin strap and removed his helmet. He looked so sexy and nasty as he placed his helmet on the workout bench, up-side-down. "Take off your helmet, Denny and toss it here." "Mmmmmm! I can smell your sweat." Coach said, as he sniffed the inside of my helmet. "I love the smell of a young jock's sweat. Now we're gonna trade helmets but first ..." Coach's voice trailed into a seductive chuckle, as he put on my helmet. Helmet in place, he bent his knees slightly and lowered his ample butt onto the bowl of his helmet. My breaths became rapid with excitement as I anticipated Coach's next move. "First, I'm gonna ripen up my helmet for you, Denny!" "Aw man!" I groaned, groping my crotch with one hand and tweaking my erect nipple with the other. "Fuck, Coach!" "This is how me and my buddies play ball." Coach whispered. "You're gonna shit in your helmet. Aren't you, Coach?" I rasped, in an excited voice. "You want me to do that for you, Denny? Take a dump in my helmet?" "Anything you feel like doin', Coach." I responded, gasping with lust. "Tell me what you want, fucker? Talk to Coach?" Coach was using his strategy again. Pitting, as it were, one team against another. In this case, the former linebacker of the Miami Dolphins against a fullback of the Mesa Verde Trojans. But I had a feeling that this game was going to be an even draw. Both opponents scoring enough touchdowns to win the pleasure we so eagerly sought. "I want your stink! I want your fuckin' jock slop, man!" I chanted, pinching my nipple until I winced in pain. "That what you want, jockboy? My fuckin' buttfudge in this helmet for you to wear?" "Yes! Yes!" I pleaded. "If I give you what you want, what will you give me in return?" Coach taunted. "Whatever you want, Coach! Anything!" "Mmmmmm!" Coach sighed, his mouth wide open. Tracing his tongue over his full lips, he grunted and let rip a juicy fart. Raising his ass slightly so I could see, Coach expelled from his asshole a geyser of brown slime into his helmet. "Aw fuck!" I moaned, digging my hand into my jockstrap to grab my sweaty, clamy cock. The wet, slurping sound of a juicy fart followed by a whoosing, sloshing sound as Coach's filth hit the inside of the helmet, resounded in my ears. "Oooooo!" Coach cooed. "Stink and dirty, Denny!" Reaching behind himself, Coach ran his hand up and down his asscrack. "Wiping my ass, Denny! Nice and warm. So fuckin' dirty, man!" Coach held up his hand before me coated with his buttsludge. Slipping his hand under the visor of the helmet he wore, I watched as he sniffed, then licked his fingers. "Fuck! Fuck!" I cried. "Mmmmmm! Fuckin' stink, jockboy!" Coach groaned, passing his dirty fingers under his nose. "Fuckin' stinks of my shit and your hot piss, Denny!" "I want that stink, motherfucker!" "You want the jock's stink?" Coach asked, lapping his tongue on his filthy digits. "I'm tasting asshole now, Denny. Fuckin' shitty asshole. Mmmmmm! Fuckin' ripe, man!" I was trembling all over. My knees were quaking and unsteady. The reeking stench of raw shit rose into the air. Its putrid fumes curled up my nostrils. Trembling with desire, my body shaking, I sunk back on my haunches. "I think it's time for you to be inducted as a member of the Miami Dolphins, Denny!" Coach said, rising to his full height, picking up his helmet with his fingers curled around the visor and handing the helmet to me. "Put it on!" I took the helmet into my hands as if I were receiving a sacred vessel. Lowering my head I sniffed its rancid contents first. It reeked of raw sewage. It reminded me of the odor contained in portable toilets at construction sites. Those receptacles of man filth that I'd sneak into and placing my head into the foul bowl, I'd breathe deep the noxious fumes as I masturbated furiously. "Fuckin' good, Coach!" I moaned, huffing the helmet's contents. "Your stink smells so fuckin' good!" As I placed the helmet into position and felt Coach's warm sludge cascade over my head, the slimey funk from his asshole dripped from my hair onto my shoulder pads. "Yeah, motherfucker! Wear my stink. Rub my slop all over your gear, man!" "Mmmmmm! Oh fuck!" I groaned, reaching up and smearing Coach's filth outward over my shoulder pads. Jaming my hand back under the helmet and scooping more stink onto my hand, I slapped my hand on top of the helmet and swirled my hand around before dragging my hand down the side of my body and back onto my cleated shoes. "Yeah! Smell like a stink jock, man! Fuckin' smell like my asshole, motherfucker. Rub my stink all over your gear." As I did what Coach demanded, he grabbed the enema bag. Placing it to his butthole, he groaned loudly as he spewed the remaining contents of his anal passage into the bag. His slurping, wet farts seemed to echo in the garage and between slitted eyelids, I watched as the enema bag swelled and bulged as Coach filled it up once more. Chapter 2 "Fuckin' pig!" Coach hollered. "Look at you all slimed up with stinking shit!" "Thank you, Coach." I gasped, yanking my dick out from my jockstrap and wanking it. "That's it, boy! Stink up that dick of yours but don't you fuckin' cum yet! Cum now and you'll be lickin' shit off my cleats while you give me a hundred push ups!" "That wouldn't be punishment, Coach! That would be pure pleasure!" I droaned, as I slid my stinky hands under the helmet and smeared the gooey residue on my face. "You'd like that, fucker? Wouldn't you?" "Yes, Coach. I would." As I pulled on my dick I could feel cock snot oozing out of my pisshole. I wanted to cum so bad but I wanted this to last. I had to fight with myself to restrain the urge to cum. "Take that hand off your cock, jockboy! Don't want you cummin' yet." Taking my hand away, my cock bobbed and jerked on its own needing no assistance from me. "Get up here on the bench!" Coach snapped. "Down there yelpin' like a fuckin' sick pup! Get that ass of yours up!" As I rose to my feet, Coach yanked me by the visor and pulled me to him. Our helmets clanked together. "Un-necessary roughness, Coach!" I hissed, yanking the front of his jockstrap down, freeing his thick, long tool. "I'll give you rough, motherfucker!" Coach snapped. Gurgling his throat, he hocked up a thick wad of spit and sent it flying onto my face. It hit me between the eyes and rolled down my nose and onto my eagerly waiting tongue. As I swept Coach's mouth spooge into my mouth, he shoved me backwards. Staggering back I fell onto the workout bench. "Get that ass up in the air, you fuckin' jock slut!" Coach roared. Knocked down on my back, I reached down behind my knees and yanked my legs up towards my chest. "Yeah! Fuckin' show me that hairy, jock pussy!" I drew my legs back as hard as I could so my buttcheeks could spread wide and reveal to Coach, amid the forest of hair swirling in my trench, my juicy, twitching teen age cunt. "Want my jockhole, Coach!" I hissed, letting rip, without shame, a thundering fart. "Nasty, scum bitch!" Coach yelled, raising his hand high in the air and sending it flying down wih a resounding slap against my upturned ass. "You son of a fuckin' ..." My voice trailed. My head rolled from side to side. My cock and balls jumped as again and again Coach's open palm smacked hard against my ass. "Cocksuckin' motherfucker!" I yelled, yanking my legs towards my chest and raising my ass higher. "Stinking shit pig!" Coach responded, smacking my ass hard, causing me to wince with pain and pleasure. "Fuckin' filthy fag whore cunt!" With each stinging slap I writhed and chuckled with the pleasure of sensual pain. "Beat my pig whore ass, you motherfuckin', son of a turd suckin', fuckin' bitch!" I screamed. Grabbing the nozzle of the enema bag from the floor, Coach rubbed it over my twitching asslips. "I know what you want, you stinking fuck!" Coach gasped, slipping the nozzle up my rectum. "Fuckin' dirty pig wants a pig's stinking slop!" "You fuckin' bastard!" I groaned, as the warm, putrid liquid from Coach's bowels spewed out of the nozzle and filled my gut with his filth. "You wanted all of my stink, jockboy!" "Oh yeah!" I cried, writhing on the workout bench, bucking my ass up. "Your stink ... mmmmmm! Feed my nasty cunt all of your fuckin' stink! Fill my ass with your slop!" I felt so dirty and nasty as I felt my butt being filled up with the waste from another man's ass. It felt so warm as the reeking sludge caressed the walls of my anal cavity. It was as if I was being fucked by the biggest cock I had ever known. Deep. Gut renching. Down to the pit of my stomach. "Almost there, man!" Coach hollered. "Take it all, fucker. All of my stink up your pig cunt!" I squirmed on the bench. As my bowels filled with Coach's funky ass slop, there came with it an element of discomfort as I could feel the pressure within me mounting. I clamped my asslips around the nozzle as if to draw within me every drop of Coach's filth only to feel my full rectum oozing its raunchy contents as it seeped out of my asshole and ran along the crack of my ass, down my back. "Oh yeah, motherfucker!" Coach roared, yanking the helmet from his head and flinging it across the room. "Fuckin' cunthole's gonna explode!" "I gotta shit, Coach!" "Gimme that fuckin' butt spooge!" Coach hollered, burying his face in my ass. "Fuck! Fuck!" I cried, shooting the nozzle out of my asshole and expelling my filth onto Coach's face in a powerful, exploding blast sending diarreah splattering everywhere. As if cumming, my asshole sent fountain after gushing fountain of stinking buttslop in all directions. Between geysers, my asslips sputtered and spat juicy, wet farts. "Jock stink! Fuckin' jock stink!" Coach roared, heaving his body up onto his knees. My stinking filth dripped from his face, onto his shoulder pads, down his chest, into his crotch hair which he spread out onto his rigid cock. As my asshole farted its filth, Coach lunged forward. The bulbous head of his dick found my shit spitting cunt and lurched forward. My asslips wrappe around his dick and sucked it inward. "Fuckin' jockpig!" Coach screamed, as he bucked his bull sized, veiny cock in and out of my ass. "Fuck me, you filthy, stinking whore!" I hollered. "Pound my shitty pussy with your big dick! Fuck me, bitch! Cock my sloppy, stink cunt! Fuck me! Fuck me!" "Love it, man!" Coach cried out. "Love havin' our combined stink drippin' off my body while I rape your grundgy jockhole!" "Fuck my jock pussy, man! Fuck my hot, tight man pussy, Coach! Fuck me stink! Fuck me dirty! Your fuckin' cock feels so good up my ass! Plug my hole, man!" In a heated frenzy, Coach pounded my ass, stroking hard and deep. "Give it to me, man! Dick your jockboy! Wanna feel you spoogin' up my stinkhole!" "Aw fuck! Fuck!" Coach hollered, "gonna cream your pucker! Gonna fuckin' ..." "Cum! Fuckin' cum, man! Gimme all of your manstink!" Coach's body trembled, then tensed. Spasming, he slammed his cock forward. "Fuck! Fuck! Cummin' up your stink pussy, boy!" "Aaarrrggghhh!" I hissed, gritting my teeth as my pisshole sent a fountain of creamy spooge flying into the air. "I'm shootin' my stink, man!" "Fuck yeah! Fuck yeah!" Coach yelled, as my creamy jizz splattered in his face. Still quaking with lust, Coach eased his dick out of my well fucked hole. Wrapping his lips around my rosebud, he sucked his spunk and my anal juices into his mouth. As he did so, a stream of piss gushed out of my dick and splashed onto his head and ran down his back into the crack of his ass and dripped onto the floor.

Now the question is... (4, Interesting)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582762)

My cell phone works with 911 even if you cancel all other service to the phone. Does that mean broadband and Voip companies will have to do the same?

I always wondered why it was that my cell phone always has to have 911 access, yet Ma Bell can cut my service and I get no dial tone if I don't pay my bills.

Re:Now the question is... (2, Informative)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582779)

Simple really; the cell network has a seperate channel specifically for 911 service, or at least that's how it was explained to me.

When you don't pay your bill, they block you out of all the channels except the 911 channel. Maybe VoIP providers can use this as a guideline.

Re:Now the question is... (4, Informative)

KD7JZ (161218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582870)

Sorry. Incorrect. The reason this works is the system will allow a handset to register on the switch serving the nearest tower, but will block call completion unless the call goes to 911 or in many cases you can charge a call to a credit card, although the rates are quite high.

Re:Now the question is... (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582910)

Eh, this is just what I was told by the Cingular lady when I asked her "How is it that I can still call 911 even when my cell phone isn't connected to the network?". I'm guessing her understanding wasn't quite as good as yours.

Re:Now the question is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12583039)


For GSM, the mobile (MS) can still find cells by looking for the beacon frequency (C0). It can then read all the broadcast data to work out the structure of the on air channel. With this knowledge, it is able to transmit a Random Access burst in the appropriate place - this carries a very short bit pattern which can be used to indicate that the establishment cause is for an emergency call. Upon recieving and decoding this message, the network may respond with and assignment to setup a call as if the handset had a valid SIM. The authentication steps are skipped, but essentailly the network can connect the call however it likes at that point.

However, I've never head of using emergency establishment to make calls with a credit card - that sounds like crap to me.

Re:Now the question is... (4, Insightful)

BenFranske (646563) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582780)

Usually even if your local phone service has been disconnected you can call 911.

Re:Now the question is... (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582816)

Granted, I have always paid my bill so I can't tell you for sure. But upon moving into an apartment, I have no dial tone and thus cannot call anywhere until it is hooked up. I assumed it would be the same upon disconnection. No dial tone = no call

Re:Now the question is... (3, Informative)

Otto (17870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582867)

Granted, I have always paid my bill so I can't tell you for sure. But upon moving into an apartment, I have no dial tone and thus cannot call anywhere until it is hooked up. I assumed it would be the same upon disconnection. No dial tone = no call

True, but a lot of places have stopped cutting out dial tone when there's no service available. When I moved into my apartment several years ago, the place had tone. It couldn't get incoming calls and it could call anywhere (you'd get a recorded message telling you the phone had no service). The only numbers I could dial were emergency numbers and the phone company in order to request service.

I've moved since then, and my new apartment does lack tone (I've switched to cell entirely), however that's just a how this local telco does it, not every telco does that anymore.

Re:Now the question is... (2)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582819)

Even without a dial tone?

Re:Now the question is... (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583043)

I was helping repair a home for sale, and the phone service had been canceled. There was no dial tone, but everything was hooked up. If you pressed any button, the phone would be connected to 911.

Re:Now the question is... (1)

s1283134 (660354) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582833)

If you plug in a phone to any phone jack, even a disconnected one, then you will still be able to dial 911. This is why there is a 911 fee on everyone's phone bill (cell/or land line). It is to provide the 911 service even without phone service.

Re:Now the question is... (1)

skroz (7870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582859)

Not true. The bells can cut your service -- even to the point where you have no dialtone -- but you can still dial 911. You could go the the nastiest abandoned crack-house in the US, and as long as there's no physical damage to the phone lines you can dial those three magic digits.

Re:Now the question is... (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582886)

Most states have a law where Ma Bell cuts your service, but they're still required to allow the phone to dial 911, as it is with cellphones.

One soloution (3, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582767)

Would to provide new handsets with basic Mobile/cell phone phone functionality to hitch hike on the current networks emergency dialing capabilities.
It would be a short term soloution indeed , but then 120 days is a very short term .

Not really (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582893)

You can't design, manufacture, and ship new hardware in 120 days.

Re:Not really (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582936)

But you can bolt it on to older hardware within that time frame and start shipping it out if your lucky.
Also if im not mistaken cross over handsets already exist so it would only be a case of getting a supply and starting to ship them out.

(I can't remember if that is 100% but i am fairly sure i read an artical about cross over handsets a few months back .If anyone can confirm that..)

FUCKIN' SOCIALISTS!!!111!!111 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582768)

How dare they interfer with the free market!??!?!? We all now free market is *the* BESTEST!!!11!!

911 (0, Flamebait)

Primal_theory (859040) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582782)

They better not be those goddamned indian people that dell uses, I can only imagine the conversation!

(with him sounding like a robot-indian the whole time!)

Me: My dad is having a heart attack!!!
Him: Hello, What is your name?
Me: Its nick, but thats not important, SEND AN AMBULANCE!!!
Him: May I call you Nick?
Me: Yes you can call the effin ambulance!
Him: What is you address
Me: 34656 *cencored* dr!!!
Him: Is this the correct adress? Could you reapeat it?
Me: *repeats it*
Him: Thankyouwelcome
Me: uhhh... ok yah about that ambulance..?
Him: It will be on its way shortly
Me: Good, bye
Him: Thankyou very much for your wonderfull fone call to the vonage 911 hotline, you will be charged a fee of 500$, thankyou...

I Can only imagine....

I have vonage... (4, Informative)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582786)

They're already in compliance. You should read the disclaimers though. Every other paragraph goes out of its way to say that this isn't really 911 service. I guess the problem is that it's tied to your voip box. I could pack it in my suitcase and take it to florida on vacation. if I plug it into my mother's cable modem line, my phone number will ring there. Unfortunately, if I dial 911, I get the 911 dispatch center near my home in the chicago area. You can't really fault them for doing it. Maybe they could do some sort of ip address geographic lookup. But I doubt it would be reliable.

Re:I have vonage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582842)

Which won't help if you happen to be VPN'd into another place at the time and forget in the panic of the emergency that you are running a VPN.

Re:I have vonage... (4, Informative)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582918)

I am also a Vonage customer, and don't get the problem either. I've had to call 911 twice in the two years I've had Vonage (Once for a fire next door, once for a crazy man screaming at and beating his child in the street). Both times, my call was answered by the police dispatcher, and the police and fire were there within minutes. The main difference was that I had to tell them the address I was at.

Vonage makes it very clear about how their 911 service works. If their service isn't good enough for what you need, just get a regular phone, and plug it into the POTS jack. You will have regular 911 service from there, and you don't need POTS service to be able to call 911.

Re:I have vonage... (1)

KD7JZ (161218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582927)

No they're not. I had vonage for 6 months and 911 never did work, although I repeatedly went through the steps. The biggest issue not getting to the correct center, its getting to any 911 center at all. Its is not the best situation in the world, but if you were in trouble in Florida, the chicago center would answer and would get ahold of a local jurisdiction.

Re:I have vonage... (1)

milimetric (840694) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582986)

I think this request is idiotic. Maybe when the police department gets their act together and sets up an infrastructure so that their closest dispatch can be contacted through their 911 service over the internet, then VOIP should be asked to have roaming 911.

Either 1 or 2:

1.) Ask VOIP providers to only provide 911 access from the home where the service is initially set up.

2.) Ask every baby and not-so-baby-anymore bell to allow you to unplug your phone, go to a different person's house, plug it in and get service on your account!

p.s. I love the idea the guy had to carry the barebones cell phone around that can only make 911 calls.

p.p.s. If you VOIP companies out there need me to help you out programming any of this, let me know, I'll do this shit pro-bono... fucking big phone companies and government trying to ruin something good.

Re:I have vonage... (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583008)

Actually the lady refferenced in the article did use Vonage, and its 911 service only played back a recording to tell her to "hang up and dial 911". After the third try she went to a neighbors house

Re:I have vonage... (3, Informative)

Ralusp (115432) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583034)

No, they're not compliant. From section 2.2 of the Vonage TOS:

Vonage does offer a 911-type dialing service in the U.S. (but may not offer such service in Canada) that is different in a number of important ways from traditional 911 service. ... When you dial 911, your call is routed from the Vonage network to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) or local emergency service personnel designated for the address that you listed at the time of activation. You acknowledge and understand that when you dial 911 from your Vonage equipment it is intended that you will be routed to the general telephone number for the PSAP or local emergency service provider (which may not be answered outside business hours), and may not be routed to the 911 dispatcher(s) who are specifically designated to receive incoming 911 calls using traditional 911 dialing.

8x8 Already Has It (1, Informative)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582794)

Just to plug a company I invest in, 8x8 or Packet8 already has E911 because they use Level3's network. So the message is, use Level3 for your network, have E911, and make me money by increasing Level3's profits! :-)

Re:8x8 Already Has It (1)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582937)

It looks like Enhanced 911 is 9.95 to setup and 1.50 / month. With this federal ruling won't they have to throw it into the normal calling package ?

I suppose they could increase their default monthly fee by $1.50 and everyone else will follow suit.

Stupid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582795)

Why should VoIP providers be required to provide 911?

You cannot be guaranteed the same level of reliability with VoIP. Public telephone service operators are held to strict regulations regarding PSTN service, ISPs are not.

Something could break with a person's cable or DSL service and I would have to call and file a trouble ticket. Then, maybe 5 days later, a truck will arrive at their house to fix it. The next internet worm could be released at any time, causing major congestion on the internet which hinders usage of VoIP.

The idea that VoIP providers must provide emergency services is bogus. If you want something for emergencies, then get a land line. The internet is not reliable enough to depend on for emergency communications like this.

Re:Stupid (5, Insightful)

cyngus (753668) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582951)

The idea that VoIP providers must provide emergency services is bogus. If you want something for emergencies, then get a land line. The internet is not reliable enough to depend on for emergency communications like this.

You are missing the point. The government wants technology to advance and the old phone system to be replaced. If this is going to happen, new technologies have to offer the same emergency features. "Get a land line" will eventually not be an option, when it is no longer cost-effective for the telcos to provide them. The internet is not reliable? The Internet was designed to be reliable in the face of node failure, it was one of the primary design goals of the original Arpanet. The military wanted a system that could get messages from A to C even if B failed, by finding an alternate B. Your DSL service may not be reliable, but this is not the Internet. There is a difference, and it is an important one.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12583024)

I'm not sure what you're source of this conjecture is because it seems so rediculous.

VoIP from Vonage et. al. will NEVER replace landlines. Our future phone lines may very well become digitized and/or run over IP networks but the physical lines will fall under the same umbrella of regulations that they do now.

The idea that we will be depending on unregulated DSL/Cable solutions for phone service is scary. You can count on there being many more dead babies in the future if that is the case!

Where is the regulation from the FCC saying that Vonage has to provide "five nines" of uptime? Where are the regulations saying that companies have to fix any outages in x amount of time? How do you address the problems of ISPs that may go down at anytime without notice and may not be fixed for hours?

The military does not use the internet for operational communication. end of story. Nukes are not launched over the internet.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12583025)

Your DSL service may not be reliable, but this is not the Internet. There is a difference, and it is an important one.

Oh don't be stupid! First of all the grand-parent was obviously talking about their internet connection with their ISP, but still. Even the internet proper can be unreliable because your ISP and the routers can go down or just get too bogged down to provide the QoS needed for telephony. And this can happen more often than just with natural disasters, but also because of worms, DDoSs, and hacks.

The present internet IS unreliable for the bandwidth required for telephony.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582988)

Was not this the reason why the internet was created in the first place? If one node goes down, then you should still be able to communicate to a remote location.

Redundancy and all that jazz.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12583054)

You do not understand the internet. The design of the internet was to decentralize it so that if part of it goes down, the whole thing does not break.

This still does not change that some users may lose connectivity if there is a loss of part of the network.

In short, if my DSL company's edge router gets fried for whatever reason, the rest of the world still can get on the internet, but I cannot. Get it?

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12583060)

Perhaps as they claim to be "telephone" service providers the mandate is that they provide the essential system in the US for US customers of the 911 service. The idea is not bogus, telephone lines can be as easily destroyed, that does not matter. They must still provide it as it is effectively regarded an essential telephone service.

Why is this being regulated? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582812)

Shouldn't it be that providers can say "Whoops, sorry, no 911 with our service", and that's it?
Why can't they?
I mean, if someone wants to pay less and go the cheap route, should they really expect the same amount of service?
The government should NOT be regulating this kind of stuff, IMHO.

They cant (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582885)

If they want to be a phone company, they have to follow phone company regulations in matters like this.

Re:They cant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582917)

But they can't follow the same regulations. Are they requried to provide 99.99999% uptime? Are they requried to be around to fix their own network in a timely fashion if a router breaks or something at their NOC?

Your state regulates these things with the local Bells. If there is a copper cut in your neighborhood that takes out 3000 lines, your telco is required to fix it ASAP, even working at odd hours of the night.

What happens when your cable light starts blinking on your cable modem and you cant make an outgoing call?

Re:They cant (2, Insightful)

pavera (320634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583020)

They don't want to be the phone company.
The want to be Internet Telephony providers. Their networks aren't designed to be carriers of last resort (if you don't know what that means look it up). They aren't and can't be required to provide SLA's the way CLECs, ILECs, and RBOCs are. VoIP is not telephone service, it is a data service.

This ruling is hairy because now it gives the CLECs and ILECs the precedent to say "Hey, you said these guys weren't subject to regulation, but you regulated them wrt 911, we want them regulated wrt taxes, sla's etc, just like we are." Which will immediately put VoIP out of business.

Re:Why is this being regulated? (4, Insightful)

xyzzy (10685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582887)

They already DO that. When you sign up you have to check a zkillion boxes saying that you acknowledge that you don't have real 911 service.

Of course, then a few people died, lawsuits ensued, and we wound up where we are now.

Why would you expect it to be any different?

In this case, however, I think it's a good thing. VZ and the other encumbents were playing the "oh, it's HAAAARDDD to open our 911 systems", which has to be a load of horse shit.

Re:Why is this being regulated? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582916)

I tend to agree with you, but the government spends much of its time and money protecting the stupid.

Re:Why is this being regulated? (1)

Reemi (142518) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582942)

So, normal companies (wireless or wireline) should be able to do the same, otherwise it is unfair competition. In the end, you'd not be able to call 911. Is this really you'd like to have?

Re:Why is this being regulated? (1)

Goobermunch (771199) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582960)

What? The government shouldn't be regulating access to emergency services?

That's about the only thing the government should be regulating.

If you're going to play like you're a phone company, you're going to have to play like you're a complete phone company.


Re:Why is this being regulated? (1)

The_DOD_player (640135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583018)


That would be EULA at its worst.

911 is something the general public should trust. If you let it up to the providers, you can be damn sure that this trust will degrade very quickly, when cellphones, telephones at work, hotels or other places you dont control begin to cut 911-service to make a saving, by using a cheaper provider.

Re:Why is this being regulated? (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583030)

Shouldn't it be that providers can say "Whoops, sorry, no 911 with our service", and that's it?
Why can't they?

They shouldn't be able to because you shouldn't be denied the ability to call 911 in an emergency just because the owner of the house/business/etc. that you're in is a cheapskate. Emergency services are one of those fundamentals of governance and society that most people agree need to be ubiquitous. In the case of VoIP, most people had a reasonable assumption of safety that wasn't present.

Last time... (2, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582815)

...I moved into a place with no phone service (California, mid-1990s) the phone would work and you could call two numbers, IIRC--611 to set up phone service and 911 for emergencies. If you tried to dial anything else it wouldn't work. Am I remembering correctly? If so, is that still the case? Is that the case everywhere?

Stop making laws right after (2, Insightful)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582822)

When will legislators learn not to hurriedly pass new laws right after terrible things happen? We all know it's not a good idea.

Re:Stop making laws right after (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582888)

When will slashdotters stop assuming every piece of legislation is passed quickly and thoughtlessly?

I think it's the right decision, if the VoIP companies are advertising themselves as phone service replacements maybe they should actually be made to comply with their advertising.

Libertarians? (3, Insightful)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582831)

What do the libertarians/EFF have to say about this?

It seems against libertarian principles to require anything of VOIP providers (other than that they not defraud people).

E.g. they didn't say it had 911 service. Nor did they say it would work in a blackout.

Yet it is hard to argue with (cue violins) dead babies.

Re:Libertarians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582850)

Yet it is hard to argue with (cue violins) dead babies.

The fault is with throwing away the landline and getting VoIP. There will be hell to pay if there is downtime on a landline from your state regulators. Your ISP is not held to the same standards.

VoIP is cool becuase it provides cheap long distance service that AT&T et. al. don't provide. But it should not be depended on for emergencies becuase there are too many things that can go wrong that are less likely to go wrong with a landline.

Re:Libertarians? (5, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582861)

Yet it is hard to argue with (cue violins) dead babies.

Yeah, but they is good eatin'

Re:Libertarians? (2, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582997)

Simple: if there is a demand for 911 service, someone would provide it. you know good and well when you purchase the phone it lacks those numbers. you should have your local fire dept and police dept #'s written down somewhere close to the phone in case of emergency. Another example of idiots expecting people do to everything for them.

Re:Libertarians? (1)

Dr. Transparent (77005) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583048)

As a Libertarian I say once again the gov't is farking up progress.

911 service sounds like a great feature, and if I had it I'd never, ever, ever use a landline again. As it is I have skype and play around with SkypeOut and SkypeIn, and use my cell phone for most of my calls.

My question, and I have not been able to find an answer to it yet, is how good is this 911 supposed to be? I mean right now with my cell phone that GPS stuff doesn't work particularly well (good enough to get my municipality for sure, but not necessarily my street) so we settle for remembering the address you're at. What will they ask of VOIP providers?

Personally I think they should butt out and let the voip providers warn the consumer that this isn't a replacement for everything. What would the lady have done if she'd been using a softphone and it crashed? Sue Microsoft for crashing? If you need a phone keep a crappy cell phone around with a battery that will last for 5 minutes at least.

Seriously this is going to get really stupid, really fast.

Once again (1)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582838)

Antecdote and tantrum dictates the law of the land.

Implications for Skype? (2, Interesting)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582852)

Initially, when noticing this article, I immediately thought of Skype as potentially having issues under this legislation (due to its ability to 'Skype-out' to phone lines). The article would seem to point to it not being required to comply under the 'Instant messaging' software gotcha. If Skype were required to implement 911 support, its possible they could have problems distinguising between those who use the software for internet-based voice chat and internet telephony.

Cannot be used for 911 calls (1)

nzkbuk (773506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582855)

What part of the "This service cannot be used for 911 calls" did the users not understand.

Most VOIP providers have stated in their contracts that the service can't be used for emergency calls because of location issues (aka you can be logged in form another country).

Now they are being forced to provide 911. How many 911 calls will go to the wrong call center due to reasons like people moving but not updating their contact details, or someone logged into the voip service at their friends place, or even "Well we provide 911 but all calls are handled by the call center closest to our HQ"

Infant died? (3, Insightful)

scarolan (644274) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582856)

Could she not have run to the neighbor's house and borrowed a phone?

Re:Infant died? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582878)

Could you not have clicked the link and RTFA?

Re:Infant died? (1)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582898)

She did, but the infant was already deceased.
Well, that's what TFA said, anyway.

ahh for the good old days of static IP's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582874)

DHCP has to make this an impossibility unless you can get people to insert addresses at the VOIP level. Ditto for VPN connections -- if I am vpn'd into the office and had to dial 911 it would suck for the ambulance to show up at work. In the bad old days, your address had that field lovingly known as ICBM address (e.g. physical lat lon of the system).

There was a day (4, Insightful)

eclectro (227083) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582892)

Before 911 that you posted a telephone number for each of the emergency services next to your phone. Phone books would have the numbers inside the front cover.

I'm sorry to hear about the infant dying. But shouldn't VOIP users if they are technically savvy to use VOIP also be responsible and be sure that they can dial (ie have phone number handy) an emergency service?

As another idea, why not have an old cell phone around that is plugged in. You do not need to have a cell plan to dial 911.

well, then- (3, Funny)

csimicah (592121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582901)

Dammit, then, I should be able to push "9-1-1" right now on my numeric keypad and somehow be connected! After all, I'm on the Intarweb, and the numbers are RIGHT THERE!

My baby could DIE!

Quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12582922)

Break out the 1,024 cases of Mountain Dew and a ton of pizza!

Time for a hack-a-thon!

Most already have it... (3, Insightful)

Otto (17870) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582925)

Vonage, to pick an example, already supports 911 services. But you have to set it up to tell it where to call. Most people, including that stupid lady in the article, simply don't set up the 911 service. All Vonage will likely do is change it to where you must setup your 911 service before the system actually works.

But then I gotta wonder, how loosely do they define "VoIP" services? I mean, Skype is a VoIP service, technically. You can use it to connect to the PSTN and dial phone numbers if you pay for the priviledge, right? It's outgoing only though. But how in the heck would they handle this sort of thing? Configure the client with where you are? Would this law even apply?

These are the kind of problems I see with regulating this sort of thing too early.

Re:Most already have it... (4, Informative)

KD7JZ (161218) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582993)

The biggest technical problem is that most e-911 calls go on a dedicated trunk to the 911 call center. There is no 'phone number' associated with that line. So what vonage was doing was just getting a listed directory number for the police in a given jurisdiction and forwarding calls to that number. (often not answered at night etc). This order will require the VOIP provider to coordinate with local telephone companies to have the VOIP 911 calls get delivered over those dedicated trunks.

Looks like I have 120 days (3, Funny)

SenFo (761716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582947)

Looks like I have 120 days to gather as many names as possible of houses strictly running VOIP phones so I can rob them of all their property while they sit back and wait for the 911 service to be connected ;-).

Seriously, though, I must be ignorant on this subject. I had no idea you couldn't dial 911 from a VOIP telephone. To be honest, I never gave it much thought.

Vonage has been working on this for a while now (1)

assantisz (881107) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582965)

I believe they already offer real E911 in one US state and are going to add many more very soon. Here is a link to the press release [] .

A Few Ideas... (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582972)

Nine times out of 10 the person on the line can say approximately where they are. That should take no more than 3 seconds. In cases where someone dials, but cannot speak or is forcibly removed from the phone, this is a problem.

Regarding that problem, there are several issues. A traceroute or database of who is using top-level IPs and their locations is a workaround. Perhaps a better idea is new and open VoIP standards. There could be a way to code the "area" into the data packet if an emergency number is dialed. Of course, the end-user must be responsible for keeping this updated.

Not ready for homes (2, Interesting)

Palshife (60519) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582975)

This is a bad move, in my opinion. All this does is force people to provide "good enough" service in the next 120 days. If the issue is that VoIP calls to 911 are problematic, then attach a stigma to using it in the home. No amount of money saved is going to make me trust a system created in 4 months as opposed to one that's been refined for decades.

If it's not ready for the home, then it's not ready. VoIP should start with businesses. If you really want it in your house, I believe it should come with the understanding that 911 is either going to be suboptimal or just plain unreliable.

Different point of view (1, Flamebait)

schwep (173358) | more than 9 years ago | (#12582995)

She made her own choice. It is no different than buying a Geo Metro & suing GM for damages when a semi-truck destroys the car in a crash.

Don't punish me because of other people's choices. Why should I have to pay more for VoIP when I have a cell phone that works for 911? I should have the choice.

I use Vonage and I have 911 service (2, Informative)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583047)

When I subscribed I had to have Vonage configure my 911 service. It took some time, but it ended up working out. The key is this though...if my Broadband connection goes down for any reason, so does my 911 service. SO...I have a stand-by cdll phone just in case.

Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is here. At least with Vonage, the make sure you understand you need to configure 911. User responsibility...go figure.

"the feds" (2, Interesting)

almostmanda (774265) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583051)

Yeah, right. We know who is really pushing for this--phone companies who want to put VOIP providers out of business or at leaast bleed them financially. If nothing else, it's a scare tactic. "Not yet, Joe Consumer. You want to keep your land line in case of an emergency!" While I agree that VOIP companies should disclose their 911 abilities and should make moves towards getting 911 working, 120 days is an unreasonably short amount of time, and seems designed for failure with companies who haven't even started yet. How about we give them a year so they can put something reliable together instead of each company scrambling to hack it together before they're fined?

I can see one major disadvantage already (5, Funny)

GMFTatsujin (239569) | more than 9 years ago | (#12583057)

Let's not forget, VoIP *is* going over the Internet...

(Caller dials 911)

Caller: Help! Emergency! My baby's not breathing!
Operator: OMG!
Caller: Send help right away!
Operator: A/S/L?
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