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Cellphone 911 in California Is A Disaster

While everyone in the FCC was up in arms over the issues facing VoIP operators with respect to E911 it seems that effort did a very good job at diverting attention from a real problem that has existed before VoIP caught fire in the USA...The fact that E911 on cell phones really hasn't gotten any better.

This story on the Mobile Web-Log highlights an L.A. Times investigation that shows just how bad the 911 service is in California. That's something I can attest to, as I recently called in an emergency and had to provide the operator with my name, cell number and location, three things that my phone was providing. When I asked why she didn't see that information she told me that information does not come through....well, that's not the presentation I sat through a few years ago when I was on the Public Safety Commission in Solana Beach...HMMM....

Here's the issue. There are more cell phones in use than VoIP users period. The technology exists and in many cases budgets have been approved. How long does it take for a state to implement something in the public's best interest? Maybe its time the FCC looked into things like that, instead of worrying about policy affecting things that already work well. That's a list longer than my arm.


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You know the reason, Andy. The LECs (who own most of the wireless subscribers anyway) put the pressure on the VoIP providers via their political puppets at the FCC for no other reason than to create financial and technical burdens to slow down the upstarts such as Vonage (pureplay) and Comcast (bundled) from stealing their landline customers. At $36/month for basic phone service, I'd be terrified if some competition threatened my cash cow, too.

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