VoIP Providers One Step Closer To Proper 911 Access
While many U.S.-based voice over IP service providers already provide access to 911 service thanks to an FCC ruling requiring them to do so, it comes with a lot of limitations. Most service providers use a third party to do the work of connecting with the variousanswering points (PSAPs) in the various locale. It is also believed that the traditional telephone operators are blocking VoIP providers from accessing these critical services.
On Monday, H.R. 3043 was approved by the U.S. Senate. This bill is called the "New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 or the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008" and would require the traditional phone companies to provide access to the necessary infrastructure to provide 911 service. It would also provide emergency dispatch centers with some legal liability if VoIP 911 calls fail.
The bill previously passed the House of Representatives in November of last year. The Senate and House versions of the bill need to be reconciled and put on the President's desk for signature. Hopefully he'll sign it and the VoIP providers can finally provide 911 service almost like the phone companies do!