FCC Mandates 911 Requirements For IP Phones

    May 19, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

The regulatory agency sets a fall deadline for Internet phone services to support Enhanced 911 capabilities at its meeting today.

Several cases where individuals were unable to reach 911 from Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones have driven the Federal Communications Commission to require Enhanced 911 support from VoIP services.

Lawsuits have been filed in states where persons attempting to report crimes via VoIP could not reach a 911 operator. The FCC calls for certain VoIP providers to supply E911 calling as a mandatory feature of their services.

Further, local exchange centers (LEC) must provide E911 access to any requesting telecommunications carrier. This requirement is critical to routing calls from a VoIP phone call from the Internet to a LEC.

“Anyone who dials 911 has a reasonable expectation that he or she will be connected to an emergency operator; this expectation exists whether that person is dialing 911 from a traditional wireline phone, a wireless phone, or a VoIP phone,” said FCC chairman Kevin Martin

The providers have 120 days from May 19th to comply with the FCC ruling.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.