61 Percent Of VoIP Providers Still Not Ready With E911

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Companies focusing only on VoIP are furthest behind with just 19 percent ready for the recent FCC E911 mandate.

According to a survey by VoipReview.org, the percentage of VoIP providers offering E911 has increased to 39 percent but many are still unready for the FCC mandate that they offer E911 to their subscribers. A majority of companies surveyed offer some type of 911 (65 percent) and a slight minority (45 percent) offer basic 911.

E911 is the service that helps you in the event that you can’t speak or do not know your location when dialing 911. E911 assists by automatically sending your address or location information to the dispatcher while basic 911 simply connects you to the dispatcher. Some companies offer 911 in areas and E911 in other areas.

While it may sound alarming that 35 percent of all companies surveyed did not offer any type of 911 these companies were mostly smaller VoIP-only companies. According to Frank Ohrtman, author of “Softswitch: Architecture for VoIP,” “11% of US counties have no E911 at all and very few cell phone service providers offer any E911 solution.” The National Emergency Number Association says that only 45.5 percent of PSAPs (public safety answering points) offer some type of wireless 911 with location information. When you compare VoIP companies and wireless companies in terms of access to 911 and E911 the percentages are similar.

What types of companies are currently ready with E911 over VoIP? The cable companies surveyed came out on top with 100 percent readiness for E911. Traditional telephone companies which includes RBOCs and CLECs were 67 percent ready with E911 while 100 percent had some type of a 911 solution already being offered. Companies focusing only on VoIP were 19 percent ready with E911 and 48 percent offered at least basic 911.    

Survey Methodology

The survey was completed by consulting sales representatives or the web sites of each company from July 21, 2005 to July 24, 2005. If a company offered E911 or 911 but their representatives or web site did not claim to do so then it was assumed that their solution was not yet ready. Some companies did have some offering of 911 but their subscriber contracts explicitly stated that they did not offer 911 or E911 and could not connect 911 or E911 calls. These providers were listed as not having 911 or E911. For complete results go to http://www.VoipReview.org/e911VoipProvidersSurvey.aspx.

About Voip Review

Voip Review is an information and shopping site about VoIP providing user written reviews, search and comparison of VoIP calling plans, and articles on VoIP. Voip Review can be reached at http://VoipReview.org.

About the National Emergency Number Association

A not-for-profit corporation, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) is the only organization dedicated solely to the study, advancement, and implementation of

9-1-1 as America’s universal emergency number system. For more information, visit http://www.nena.org.

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Eric Laughlin
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