Monday, April 25, 2005

Verizon Opens its E911 System to VoIP Providers

Verizon will allow VoIP service providers and their vendors to use its Enhanced 911 emergency calling system to connect VoIP customer 911 calls to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Verizon expects that by this summer, VoIP providers and their vendors will be able to provide their customers in New York City with E 911 service. If the New York City model is successful, it will be replicated in other locations.

The E 911 system directs a 911 caller to the appropriate local government emergency response center, known as a Public Safety Answering Point. The call travels over a dedicated network and automatically provides the PSAP operator with the name and address associated with the caller's telephone number.

"With the recent and rapid growth of VoIP service, we needed to find a way to integrate VoIP providers into the E 911 system in a manner that would reliably serve VoIP end-users and that at the same time would not compromise the safety and reliability of the E 911 system for other users. After discussions with VoIP providers and the emergency services community, we believe that we have identified an arrangement that meets the needs of both groups and enables VoIP providers to offer their customers significantly better 911 services than they receive today," said Michael O'Connor, executive director of federal regulatory affairs for Verizon.


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