Friday, October 12, 2007

House Panel Approves VoIP E911 Bill

Roy Mark writes on eWeek:

Under legislation approved by a House panel, VOIP providers would have direct access to the nation's E911 system in order to comply with Federal Communications Commission rules mandating Internet telephone companies provide customers with emergency calling services.

Currently, E911 calls from VOIP (voice over IP) customers are routed to third parties, such as telephone companies that then connect the calls to the E911 operator. In 2005, the FCC ordered VOIP providers to comply with E911 mandates, but did not require telecoms to open their infrastructure for the providers to directly connect the calls.

The 911 Modernization and Public Safety Act, approved Oct. 10, would give VOIP providers direct access to the E911 system backbone. In addition, the legislation would extend liability protections to VOIP service providers in much the same manner as traditional landline and wireless carriers.

More here.

Note: It is unclear right now what the integration challenges will be, but one thing is for sure -- it will mean much more stringent efforts in the area of VoIP security because people's lives are on the line. - ferg


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