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earl
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Joined: Mar 24, 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

After reading this post, I decided to dial 911 last night to confirm that it would work properly. I was pleasantly surprised when after a 1/2 ring my local town police dispatcher answered and said I had reached emergency dispatch. We spoke for a few moments, after I quickly informed the dispatcher that this was not an emergency call, and she confirmed that as long as name, address, and phone number are provided (address most important) that in the event of an actual emergency help would have been on the way. The local dispatcher knew nothing of Voip or Vonage and took down my information to forward to a Lieutenant so they could start making others on the police force aware of this new approach to contacting 911 without E-911. I agree with earlier postings that it's worth testing your activated Vonage 911 to be sure the proper PSAP has been defined and working. Now if my LNP transfer goes through smoothly (6 days and waiting), I may decide to play the lottery.
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estiegel
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Joined: Mar 04, 2005
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

i just tested 911 in Naperville, IL. The call was answered in 1/2 ring, but it was the dispatcher, not the 911 center. No address info was being passed to them.

I would have to give them the info in the case of an emergency. Hopefully I can?????
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jonlord
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

alaw168 wrote:

What I don't understand is why Vonage make you jump through hoops to activate 911 service.

911 activation could easily be a simple step in the sign-up process, with an option to skip. They can even default your billing address, just like they do for the shipping address. If you choose to skip, then they can give you the red boldface message that 911 service will be limited and that you can always activate later from the webpage. We've seen this all the time during software installation asking you to register.

Unless, of course, activating 911 service would cost Vonage money that they don't want to pay unless absolutely have to, i.e. when you explicitly go to activate it.


That would be a horrible idea. One of the selling points of Voip is the fact that it is portable. If it is defaulted to a billing address say in City A, but the phone adapter was in City B. When you called 911 from city B, then the responders would go to the billing address in city A. Defaulting would just cause more confusion. (that would be like defaulting a cellphones 911 service to the billing address !!!

Don't forget that when you sign up for a traditional phone line, you have to have a physical address for installation, however the bill can go anywhere.

When you purchase Voip, no one asks where you are physically going to install it. They just need to know where to send the bill.

Therefore the choice to NOT default to a billing address was an extremely smart one by Vonage. Also, as 911 routing is database driven, I doubt that costs are a concern.
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jnuzzi
Vonage Forum Master
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Joined: Feb 02, 2005
Posts: 216
Location: Orlando, FL

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

jonlord wrote:
That would be a horrible idea. One of the selling points of Voip is the fact that it is portable. If it is defaulted to a billing address say in City A, but the phone adapter was in City B. When you called 911 from city B, then the responders would go to the billing address in city A.

Actually, in most cases you will have to tell the person who answers your call where to send the responders. This is why E-911 is so important.

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sntyar
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Mar 19, 2005
Posts: 13
Location: kentucky

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 8:30 pm    Post subject: 911 Reply with quote Back to top

i live in a suburb of Lexington,Ky. I reached my city 911 dispatch office and just had to verify that they had the correct info, except for the fact that my Vonage number is regestered to lexington and not the city i live in. she said it was a good thing i did test this or it may have caused a mix up in the event of an emergancy.
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ToddlerTN
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 482
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

jonlord wrote:
alaw168 wrote:

What I don't understand is why Vonage make you jump through hoops to activate 911 service.

911 activation could easily be a simple step in the sign-up process, with an option to skip. They can even default your billing address, just like they do for the shipping address. If you choose to skip, then they can give you the red boldface message that 911 service will be limited and that you can always activate later from the webpage. We've seen this all the time during software installation asking you to register.

Unless, of course, activating 911 service would cost Vonage money that they don't want to pay unless absolutely have to, i.e. when you explicitly go to activate it.


That would be a horrible idea. One of the selling points of Voip is the fact that it is portable. If it is defaulted to a billing address say in City A, but the phone adapter was in City B. When you called 911 from city B, then the responders would go to the billing address in city A. Defaulting would just cause more confusion. (that would be like defaulting a cellphones 911 service to the billing address !!!

Don't forget that when you sign up for a traditional phone line, you have to have a physical address for installation, however the bill can go anywhere.

When you purchase Voip, no one asks where you are physically going to install it. They just need to know where to send the bill.

Therefore the choice to NOT default to a billing address was an extremely smart one by Vonage. Also, as 911 routing is database driven, I doubt that costs are a concern.

First of all, EVERYONE with Vonage outside of Rhode Island has to provide their name and address to whoever answers when they dial 911. So your "I'm on vacation" scenario doesn't fly.

What actually would happen in that situation is you would dial 911 and get connected to the PSAP associated with the address you entered on the 911 signup page rather than a PSAP wherever you happen to be. Which, although confusing, one could argue is better than nothing. It at least connects you to a person trained to talk you through CPR, poison control, etc. or who can explain to you "hey, you're in Texas, not in San Francisco." And hopefully someone technical enough to take Vonage on the road wouldn't be so simultaneously foolish as to try and call 911 from their portable adapter if they hadn't updated their 911 address on the Vonage website.

Now that we've covered that, here's a simple idea:

- Make the 911 signup process a mandatory step in the signup process
- Any time the customer's IP address changes, automatically generate an email, voicemail and/or Dashboard link to the customer requiring them to verify or update their 911 address

Not a perfect solution, but not terribly intrusive for people who don't travel, and it addresses the witless traveller who wouldn't otherwise know any better.

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DarKev
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Joined: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 336
Location: Gatineau, QC

PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

What amazes me about all of this is the lack of concern that the telephone companies seem to have regarding Voip and 911. I am sure they want to put their competitors out of business, but at the expense of human lives? That just goes to show how callous and greedy the big telephone companies really are, and gives us one more reason to switch.

I can assure you that if millions of people start switching to Voip, over time there will be emergencies that take place where hundreds of people are not going to get any 911 help due to this craziness. That in itself will force the government to step in and settle the whole mess once and for all. Hopefully that is as far as regulations will get with Voip.

The big purpose of 911 was to have the identity along with the address of the caller. A person could be choking to death, a child may not know his or her address, and a person could have an intruder in the house and does not want to be heard talking to 911 on the phone. These are real concerns that happen every day somewhere in the US and Canada. I think it is important to have a database setup that will provide more information when 911 is called. It cannot be that hard to set this up, but Voip is still quite new. We did not always have 911 with regular PSTN lines. They had lots of time to set it up. I suspect that over the next few years, 911 will be equally as good through Voip.

The loss of phone service in power outage is another issue that should be looked at. With technology the way it is today, these things should be fairly simple obstacles to overcome.

We sent a man to the moon in the late 60s! Forty years later we should be smart enough to provide decent 911 and UPS on Voip phone service.
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rridley
Vonage Forum Associate
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Joined: Mar 06, 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I just called 911 to verify where the calls are directed.

Vonage correctly diverts them to the local sheriff's office which is the same office that receives the 911 traffick. So far so good. The problem came during the information transfer when the operator figured out that I am in the POTS E-911 calling area. The dispatcher was adamant that I could not have called 911 because the information was not showing up on her screen. If I had really called 911 like I claimed, she would have this information. No amount of explanation would convince her that this was NOT a call from Qwest (local POTS provider) or a cell phone.

Vonage performed as expected, but the local emergency dispatch need some training.
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DarKev
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 336
Location: Gatineau, QC

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I guess the most important thing is that you got through to someone who could help you in case there was a real emergency. Let's just hope that several others have emergencies before you do so that by the time you ever need to call 911, everything will be stabilized.

rridley: What city are you in? Are you in Canada? You talked about sheriff's office. Maybe you are in the US as we don't have sheriffs in Canada.
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ToddlerTN
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 482
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2005 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rridley wrote:
The dispatcher was adamant that I could not have called 911 because the information was not showing up on her screen. If I had really called 911 like I claimed, she would have this information.

The dispatcher is actually correct. Your call did not come in on the 911 line, it came in on a 7-digit "non-emergency" line that is also routed to the dispatch center.

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