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Packet 8 Cries Foul But Really It's A Tale Of Two Martins

Yesterday I received a call from Packet 8's PR person Joan Citelli and Chariman Bryan Martin, who were a tad upset about my post based on reader input of Tuesday and my follow on commentary that was more akin to the idea of being busted and sent to the principal's office. The second posting came about after someone inside the industry responded to me in reference to the earlier posting about Packet8's announcement to be very E-911 compliant, a point Martin reiterated to me yesterday in attempts to distance P8 from all the other VoIP players who are not.

Unfortunately I had to cut the call short because of a flight's boarding call, and being one who believes in fairness, on the flight back to San Diego I actually thought it would be good to give Packet 8 the right to reply, because in fairness I had not been briefed (nor offered one in advance) of their announcement, so I thought, why not give Bryan the right to reply. I mean there are two sides to every story, right?

That was until I was forwarded a link to the same document that pal Tom Keating has referenced and likely pulled the map from that appeared on his blog today. It made me feel even more irritated about the call and the snarly, tone. In thinking it over the whole thing only reinforced the claims their shareholders have made to me.

It seems the word SPIN is back in, and Bryan and team want to put their spin on what they're doing. I'm not buying it, and it seems based on emails from industry insiders and chat comments, they're not either. But unlike the shareholders who usually moan and groan to me about Martin, who I do agree with are more motivated by stock price than watching the company grow, this time the emails are coming from the VoIP tech sector seeking to undress Packet 8's claims and those emails, unlike the highly charged and emotional emails from the investors, which are also backed up by documentation that casts a disdainful eye on the way the company operates from an opinion based on facts perspective, this time the supporting information shoots down the claims from the get go.

So now that the FCC is seeking to stop permitting the VoIP players to market service in areas of the country where E911 is not available, people in those second class areas (remember my post about the Have's and the Have Nots) will start signing up using some E911 ready addresses in a market area that is already E911 enabled. Then, when they make their 911 calls, the call will be routed to the wrong PSAP and that PSAP will recieve the false address information. The FCC will then get sued because the FCC put the onus on the customer not the provider to provide an acurate registered location, and when the customer dies, the family lawyers will make a case that the FCC forced them to provide a false address. It's all so stupid.

This scenario though is scary enough. When you add in the numerous waivers already filed with the FCC, the Senate and the pending House bills that would give the VoIP players more time, and all along the way the general public outcry at the utter stupidity of Martin and his E911 order that the FCC will then be likely placed in the unenviable position to allow marketing of VoIP in non-E911 areas. It's only a matter of time.

By doing it that way Chairman Martin will save face after first having said "everyone has to have E911" and then by his subsequently having said "oK, you don't have to shut off existing customers without E911 but you'd better not sign 'em up anymore" is by coming out with some kind of requirement to provision customers in non-E911 areas with a form of some other Have not 911 type of service

This is more or less what will happen, but when and what has to happen to make it so will be an interesting road we all will travel down.