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Random Thoughts From A Not So Idle Mind

More E911 Ideas

VoIP-Forum pointed me to a viewpoint of Internet Telephony's Publisher, Rich Tehrani on the subject of E911.

To me the solution is too simple. Every police and fire department has a phone line in their dispatch room called "the non emergency number." All you have to do with VoIP is program that number into speed dial. Problem solved.

Now, if you're an VoIP provider when you're signing up the customer, once you have the Zipcode how hard would it be to ask if the user would like their emergency services provider's number loaded in to their speed dial, as you guessed it. 911.

Now to take it a step further, when the IP address of the telephone adapter changes the service could likely be set up to "call you" with a message that says something like "we see you have relocated your telephone adapter. For safety purposes we can update your 911 to dial the local emergency number. Just enter the zipcode you are currently in."

Too I know some privacy advocates will get all over me on this, but for those who need to feel safe and secure, it may be a more easy to implement solution than the ones I'm seeing deployed.


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Ralph K.

Interesting interim solution, but not really what E-911 is all about. Sure, we could all program our phones to dial the local police, and presumably their phones would recognize our CallerID and display our name and telephone number. But the databases behind E-911 solutions also display the address which is critical when seconds matter. Also, VoIP providers are going to have to eventually solve for the mobile user who has taken the TA on the road.

VoIP Dude

Interesting idea but it will not work. People have been trained for years to dial 911 in an emergency and 911 has been extremely effective at saving lives. Now we want to train users to dial a different number?

This assumes they are aware they are even using VoIP (many are not). It also assumes the subscriber is using the phone. What if a neighbor finds you passed out in your kitchen and reaches for the phone? What if the baby sitter has to call 911?

All of those people should just dial 911. The ITSPs need to work out how to make that work in the background. It is unrealistic and dangerous to expect end users to adapt to the technology. The technology must adapt to the needs of the user.

Richard Stastny

So I have to find out and enter the zip-code of the WiFi hotspot I am in everytime I use my phone? After the third time you enter 12345. And what do I enter abroad? Some people still travel outside the US.

But basically I think providing access to emergency services is in future NOT the task of the VoIP providers, it is the task of the access providers (and the capability should be built into the devices)

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