VoIP E-911 on FCC agenda
As many expected, the agenda for the Federal Communications Commission’s meeting next Thursday features consideration of an order outlining E-911 requirements for voice-over-IP (VoIP) providers.
Last month, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told Congress he wanted the commission to address the issue, which has received increasing attention during recent months in the wake of the attorneys general of Texas and Connecticut filing lawsuits against top VoIP provider Vonage.
Both suits claim Vonage engaged in deceptive trade practices by not clearly disclosing to customers that Vonage’s voice offering does not include E-911 service. In February, a Houston girl was unable to dial 911 from her family’s Vonage phone after her parents were shot.
Vonage officials have said the company would like to provide E-911 service but could not in areas where an incumbent phone company owns the selective router that directs calls to the appropriate public-safety answering points (PSAPs). Recently, Vonage has announced selective-router agreements with some of the largest incumbent phone companies, including Verizon Communications and Qwest Communications.