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Vonage In The News
Vonage Holdings Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Results

Carolyn Katz Elected to Board of Directors of Vonage Holdings Corp.

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Vonage Pros and Cons for 2006



Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review
Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review



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Salt Lake City: impressions after several months




Vonage Reviews

FCC Orders RBOC's To Open 911 Access For VoIP Providers


Vonage In Print News

FCC Mandates 911 Voip Service

May 19, 2005

By Roy Mark

UPDATED: WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted today to require Internet telephone companies to provide emergency 911 service to all their customers.

The FCC also ordered incumbent carriers to provide access to their 911 networks to Internet telephone companies, including access to trunk lines, selective routers and 911 databases.

The order does not specify how the Voice over IP (define) firms will interconnect with the incumbent carriers or what the rates will be.

"By not dictating the technical means by which providers must come into compliance, we do not impose undue regulation on these services," new FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said.

With the emergence of commercially viable Internet telephone service over the last two years, companies such as Vonage have come under fire for not providing the same type of 911 service as traditional landlines and cellular carriers.

Because of the nomadic nature of VoIP, Internet telephone services frequently route 911 calls to public safety administrative offices instead of directly sending the calls to Public Service Answering Points. Other Voip providers offer no 911 services at all.

"The requirement to provide access to 911 is about public safety," Martin said. "Because the commission previously found that the Voip services at issue were interstate, the commission assumed the responsibility to ensure that basic public safety requirements are implemented and satisfied."

Martin noted that Congress mandates the FCC to promote "safety of life and property. This obligation transcends new technologies and cannot be compromised."

The FCC order must first be published in the Federal Register and then becomes effective 120 days after that. It is expected to become effective sometime this fall.

According to the FCC, Internet telephone companies must deliver all 911 calls to the customer's local emergency operator. Voip firms are required to provide the emergency operators with a callback number and the location information of their customers where the emergency operator is capable of receiving it.

In addition, Voip providers must inform both their new and existing customers of the 911 capabilities and limitations of their service.

"Anyone who dials 911 has a reasonable expectation that he or she will be connected to an emergency operator," Martin said. "This expectation exists whether that person is dialing 911 from a traditional wireline phone, a wireless phone or a Voip phone."

Martin added, "Today, we take this action to ensure this expectation is met as soon as possible."

While praising Martin for pushing the issue, FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps also took the opportunity to question former Chairman Michael Powell's approach to IP-based services.

"Last November, the commission asserted that certain Voip services were interstate in nature," Copps said. "Seen by some as a grand and glorious pronouncement, others of us warned that a simple assertion of Washington control without indication of what this meant ... was hardly the stuff of bold leadership. Preemption without policy is power without responsibility."

Copps said the "sad fact" is that the FCC has spent "so much time splitting hairs about what is a telecommunications service and what is an information service that we have endangered public safety."

FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy called the decision a "giant step forward."

"Just as important, it will help safeguard consumers in the interim prior to full implementation by requiring all Voip providers to affirmatively warn consumers of current limitations in 911 availablity," she said.



 
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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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