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More e911 problems for Vonage?

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First a death in Texas, and now another one in Florida, this e911 is going to become a hot button issue in the coming days, especially for Vonage, which has become the public face of the VoIP technology. This report says that a Volusia County, Florida couple is working hard to shut down Vonage, because they could not reach 911 service over their Vonage phone connection. As a result, the “Waller family says their three-month-old daughter stopped breathing recently and, when they called 9-1-1, they didn’t get a live operator, they got a recording.” The baby died soon after.

Cheryl and Joseph Waller blame their Internet phone service, Vonage, for not linking them to a human being.’I want them to shut down. They’re putting people’s lives in danger for the quick dollar,’ said Joseph Waller .A Vonage spokesperson told Channel 9 that their records show the 9-1-1 call was processed and routed correctly and that the call lasted several minutes, but she could not say if the call went to an actual operator.

Vonage has been sued by State Attorney Generals of three states – Texas, Michigan and Connecticut. I think this will only give more ammunition to FCC for regulating VoIP. Vonage has worked with Verizon to implement a e911 service in the Verizon footprint (via Intrado). BellSouth and Qwest will be onboard next it seems. Andy says Vonage & SBC were close to testing a 911 service last year.

9 Responses to “More e911 problems for Vonage?”

  1. Prompted by the suggestion implied in the question, it might be a good idea for VoIP service providers to have a mechanism (either via phone or through web) whereby the subscribers can find out where the call will end up ifthey dial 911 and also what location information will be delivered to the 911 operator.

  2. Earle

    I am a vonage subscriber and want to know what is at the end of my 911. Can I just call 911 at various hours of the day to test? Probably send a patrol car to the house but at least I would know the situation before it was too late.