Intrado delivers VoIP E-911 solution with Verizon in New York
Leading 911 vendor Intrado has announced it is installing equipment to deliver voice-over-IP (VoIP) emergency-service calls in New York City directly to appropriate public-safety answering points (PSAPs) with address and call-back information through the traditional E-911 system.
Intrado has offered a “V-911” solution that directs VoIP 911 calls to the appropriate PSAP, but those calls are delivered to the PSAP’s administrative line instead of being routed directly to a dispatcher. But the New York City solution uses an Intrado gateway that directs VoIP 911 calls in the New York area to the appropriate selective router–owned by incumbent phone carrier Verizon Communications–so they can be answered by a PSAP dispatcher, said Marcus Andronici, Intrado’s product and marketing manager for VoIP 911.
“Here, we have gone another level, in that we’re creating the infrastructure to deliver calls to Verizon’s selective routers,” Andronici said. “This is going to be the first access to a Verizon selective router.”
Indeed, leading VoIP provider Vonage has repeatedly stated that gaining access to incumbent carrier’s selective routers is necessary to provide emergency-calling service in the legacy 911 system. After initially meeting with some resistance from incumbent carriers, Vonage officials have said their company has reached agreements with Verizon and Qwest Communications on selective-router access.
But access to the selective router is not just a limitation for companies like Vonage, Andronici said. Even Verizon’s own VoIP product, VoiceWing, was not allowed access to the selective router because the VoiceWing arm is not regulated as a telephone carrier, he said.
Given the growing number of VoIP 911 calls being delivered to PSAP’s administrative lines, New York City officials called Intrado and Verizon to design a solution that would let PSAPs answer VoIP 911 calls as if they would calls from telephony-based phones, Andronici said.
VoIP phones maintain the same number regardless of their geographic location, so VoIP customers must input their address into the Intrado database to make the 911 feature work properly, Andronici said. The Intrado VoIP database normally is updated within 15 minutes after a new address is input–much faster than a similar process takes in the traditional telephony 911 arena.
Andronici said the New York solution is based largely on the system’s Vonage trial in King County, Wash., and has implemented in Rhode Island, where the state owns the selective router. It could become the blueprint for a permanent solution, according to Michael Hassett, senior vice president for Verizon’s Retail Markets Group.
“The ability to provide emergency service personnel with customer location and callback information automatically is particularly critical in cases where the customer is unable to speak or drops off the line during a 911 call,” Hassett said in a prepared statement. “The solution we will test in New York is part of our effort to find comprehensive solutions that can provide E 911 service to VoiceWing customers nationally, both in and out of Verizon’s traditional service areas.”