Understanding e911

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Voip's E911 is a critical part of any voip internet phone package. It's important for consumers to understand what E911 is and how it differs from landline 911 service. With a minimal amount of effort, you can ensure that E911 works when you need it.

E911 service is something most of us take for granted but E911 works differently for wireless and voip internet phone services. Industry leader, Voip.com, explains what you need to do to make sure your 911 is there in an emergency.

Landline E911 service requires nothing extra from consumers. Your physical location is intrinsically tied to your telephone number and the information is stored in your phone company's E911 database. When a 911 call is made, your location and callback information is retrieved from the database and automatically passed along to the emergency operator, in case you aren't able to speak. Competing phone companies must negotiate E911 database access privileges with the local phone companies.

Voip's geographic flexibility can make it difficult to pin down a user's exact location. Although some traditional phone companies have now allowed voip providers access to their databases, changes must be made to the system, allowing consumers to keep their location information current. There are also third party options that maintain their own databases. Because 911 service is a relatively new feature with voip calling, it may not be available in all areas.

Voip.com members automatically add their physical address location information to the voip.com E911 database when they sign up for service. Members can quickly make changes to their E911 information through their online voip.com account portal. Once new information is entered, it only takes about 15 minutes to propagate through the system, ensuring the proper information will be sent to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Members can check that their calls will go to the right PSAP by dialing 933 from their voip phone.

It's also a good idea to have a backup plan if your broadband connection fails, or the power goes out, because you may not be able to use your phone in those circumstances. Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) can keep your system powered for a limited period of time, but extended blackouts will still present a problem. Secondary landlines and cell phone emergency services are two popular options if voip internet phone dialing is unavailable during an emergency. For more information on voip service, E911 and protecting your broadband connection during power failures, go to voip.com


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Camie Gontier
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