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ToddlerTN
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 482
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rebus wrote:
ToddlerTN wrote:
Hopefully you would agree that those of us who believe 911 is important enough to make it a federally regulated (and possibly mandated) service also make a legitimate case.

Sorry, I cannot agree.

Q: How do you think Vonage can offer all these services, and free long distance, and do it all so cheaply?

A: Because they are UNregulated.

When you open the door to government regulation of this industry you can kiss all of the Voip advantages goodbye, because it's NOT going to stop at 911 service. Once Federal and State officials get their foot in the door, there will be regulations, and taxes, and regulations about taxes. Did I mention the taxes? And let's not forget about fees paid to the local incumbent carriers to reimburse them for their lost revenue. And how about fees to help lower income families afford a broadband connection so THEY TOO can get their piece of the Voip pie. How about adding a few small subsidies for local libraries and schools? They already have internet service, so why not include Voip services there as well? And let's not forget about the hearing impaired-- why shouldn't THEY get TTY service on their Voip phone?

Voip is either regulated, or it's not. You cannot open the door to regulation on one issue without setting a precedent that will lead to the same government regulations that are suffocating the telcos-- which is the VERY reason so many of us are moving to Voip instead.

 

Regulating the 911 system and regulating Vonage or Voip are two entirely different things. What I would favor is a federally-regulated, nationally-standardized 911 system with open access to all carriers---local telco, Voip or whatever other services may be able to take advantage of it now or in the future. That doesn't mean that Vonage has to be regulated, it just means that the 911 system would be open, and customers like me would be able to ensure the highest level of protection possible for our families.

Just two days ago, an elderly man who lives across the street for us was beaten to death by an unknown assailant while he was walking from from the grocery store 1/4 mile away. This happened between 8 and 10 am in a highly visible area in broad daylight, and we live in an upscale neighborhood in an upscale area of Nashville. You can't predict things like that. The world is dangerous, and I want as much of a chance to take care of my wife and kids as possible. And so far, the "free market" hasn't been able to provide me with a Voip option. So yes, just like you needed and requested the government's help with your LNP, I've asked for their help in establishing a true 911 service for Voip networks.

And as I said, I fully respect your point of view, I just don't agree. But if you truly don't have the capacity to at least concede that your position is not the only valid position, then there's not much point in further discussion.
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rebus
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ToddlerTN wrote:
How ironic is this?

From another thread:

rebus wrote:
WooHoo... LNP is finally done.

Just a little over 3 months of waiting.... and all it took to get it resolved was to file a complaint with the state Public Service Commission against XO.

Well thank goodness that the government got involved in your situation, rebus.

Talk about hypocrisy! You obviously don't mind regulation when your special interest is at stake, but when it's something that may not personally affect you, you've got no room for compromise.

You do enjoy twisting things to suit your cause, don't you? Read carefully, you just might find enlightenment.

The complaint was against a regulated carrier, not an unregulated one.

Until now, I HAD to deal with a regulated carrier because there was no competition in this market. There was the equivalent of a gun to my head of I wanted landline phone service. Verizon was the only choice.

XO, a regulated carrier, was commissioned to perform a task, which they failed to perform. Since they are subject to state regulations, my only recourse in this matter was to file a complaint through formal channels.

I have now made the conscious choice to move to an UNregulated carrier, namely Vonage.

I understand that the PSC will not have jurisdiction over my newly-chosen phone provider in the event of a dispute in the future, and I accept that risk.

Is that really so hard to understand?

 
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ToddlerTN
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 482
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

rebus wrote:
XO, a regulated carrier, was commissioned to perform a task, which they failed to perform. Since they are subject to state regulations, my only recourse in this matter was to file a complaint through formal channels.

The source of the irony, and what you fail to grasp, is that you just made the case for regulation.

You would have been $hit out of luck if that carrier wasn't regulated. Your carrier was unresponsive to your needs, so thank goodness for you that they are a regulated carrier, because that's the only way you got help from the government. You did have other recourse in the matter...continue to pay XO and wait, or just give up. Luckily for you, there was option #3, and this time, "Big Brother" was on your side.

I wonder who will help you if you ever want to LNP away from Vonage to another carrier? I know, hard to imagine Vonage being unresponsive, but still. Maybe government regulation of Voip would make them a little more responsive, too. I haven't been in favor of that until now, but you made me at least consider it.

As your example points out, sometimes there is a need for goverment intervention. You were pretty happy that "Big Brother" intervened when you posted the news earlier. I guess it's just a case of supporting whatever suits your own needs at any particular time.


Last edited by ToddlerTN on Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:02 pm; edited 1 time in total
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drewmie
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Joined: Feb 08, 2005
Posts: 33
Location: Utah, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
reebok wrote: let the buyer beware. it's not vonage's job to hold every person's hand that calls to sign up for service.
Rubbish. How hard would it be for Vonage to have a "911 address" page as part of the process of signing up? It would automatically have your shipping address and just require you to click "Yes."

But no. Instead, they make it a "Feature." Frankly, many of their other features should also be set to your specifications as part of your initial online account setup.

Why should they do this? It's called customer service. Making these "features" front and center right when you're signing up increases the value customers feel they are getting from Vonage. Otherwise, many customers are unaware of the features they have available to them, and therefore Vonage's value is less. All of these features should be part of an initial account setup wizard.
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cuzzort
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

drewmie wrote:
Quote:
reebok wrote: let the buyer beware. it's not vonage's job to hold every person's hand that calls to sign up for service.
Rubbish. How hard would it be for Vonage to have a "911 address" page as part of the process of signing up? It would automatically have your shipping address and just require you to click "Yes."

But no. Instead, they make it a "Feature." Frankly, many of their other features should also be set to your specifications as part of your initial online account setup.

Why should they do this? It's called customer service. Making these "features" front and center right when you're signing up increases the value customers feel they are getting from Vonage. Otherwise, many customers are unaware of the features they have available to them, and therefore Vonage's value is less. All of these features should be part of an initial account setup wizard.

I totally agree with you BOTH! It is NOT Vonage's duty to hold your hand, and I think it would be easy for them to require new and present subscribers to sign up for 911 service. At least they might cover their liability somewhat.
Actually, I signed up before my Voip device arrived!

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egeller624
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Joined: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 81
Location: Las Vegas, NV

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
Personally, I think it should not be an option. No, they shouldn't make you get a phone just to have 911...but if you buy a car, they make you wear a seat belt...and if you have a phone, they should make you carry 911.


No one "makes" me wear a seatbelt... I choose to because I'm an intelligent person who understands it may save my life. Similarly with making sure my 911 is activated properly with my Vonage service and with the correct address. It's my responsibility to look out for my own well being and that of my family, it is not the government's responsibility to fasten the seatbelt for me or make sure all I have to do is pick up the phone and all my information will be magically transmitted to 911 for me. I accept that I must take ownership of my own safety and it doesn't bother me in the least. Granted, I do not have children. But if I did, I would simply make sure they knew our home address, and what information to tell the person on the phone in the event they needed to call 911. How hard is it to put a little sticker on the phone with your address on it?

And for those of you who rely solely on e911 from POTS phones... that's not infallable either. My father in law was having a heart attack and the e911 system didn't stop the paramedics from getting lost and taking over 45 minutes to reach his house.

Just my 2 cents. I'm sure I'll get blasted for it lol.

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AirJunky
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Disturbed wrote:
911 is on a cellphone and most landline phones by default. You cannot disengage 911 service even if you wanted to. Voip should play by the same rules. 911 has to do with public safety, not government intervention. Telephones are expected to have such functionality.

I don't understand why Voip should somehow be different than landline phones. And why in the world would you NOT want to have 911? What does it hurt? It can only help.


The reason people might not want it is because it's more govt intervention in our lives. Part of the reason many of us left POTS was to get away from the taxes. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I'm not so blinded by my own viewpoint that I can't see theirs either.

It's difficult to get 911 to with with Voip because of the router's position. One day it might be at your house & the next day it's at your hotel room. Which 911 operator do they connect you with? Sounds like it'll have to be based on the IP address but those details are things they are working out. In the meantime, we have to be held accountable for updating the 911 record ourselves..... even in Houston.
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ToddlerTN
Vonage Forum Evangelist
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Joined: Feb 12, 2005
Posts: 482
Location: Nashville, TN

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

egeller624 wrote:
Quote:
Personally, I think it should not be an option. No, they shouldn't make you get a phone just to have 911...but if you buy a car, they make you wear a seat belt...and if you have a phone, they should make you carry 911.

No one "makes" me wear a seatbelt... I choose to because I'm an intelligent person who understands it may save my life. Similarly with making sure my 911 is activated properly with my Vonage service and with the correct address. It's my responsibility to look out for my own well being and that of my family, it is not the government's responsibility to fasten the seatbelt for me or make sure all I have to do is pick up the phone and all my information will be magically transmitted to 911 for me.

That's actually not far from the point I was trying to make. However, if a new auto manufacturer decided not to put seat belts in their cars altogether, or stated in the car's owner's manual that seat belts aren't provided with the vehicle unless and until you specifically go through a special sign-up process to obtain them--and even then the seat belts provided aren't as functional or safe as traditional seat belts--intelligent people who want the option to protect themselves would rightly be concerned, and the government would never approve that car for sale to the public.
egeller624 wrote:
I accept that I must take ownership of my own safety and it doesn't bother me in the least.

Well, to take the analogy a step further...assume these cars without seat belts are sold to people who accept the risk. Assume that these buyers are a cross-section of America who saw the ads on TV and thought they could save money by purchasing this car that is so much cheaper than the competition because it is unregulated. Once several hundred thousand of these cars are on the roads, stories start cropping up about kids who weren't able to use a seat belt because their parents never envisioned needing them, or guest passengers who had no way of knowing that, although at first glance they look the same, the seat belts in this car don't protect them like traditional seat belts. It wouldn't be very long before the public demanded for this unregulated vehicle to be regulated. (And I don't want that to happen to the Voip industry, but if the marketplace can't come up with a solution on its own, then the government will, as it is about to, become involved.)

Even if you argue that you are responsible for yourself, you are also responsible for others. In a nation where McDonalds gets sued for hot coffee and robbers have successfully sued homeowners for tripping on broken sprinkler heads or getting locked in garages, as ridiculous as it may sound, I can envision a guest in a Vonage household who wasn't able to reach 911 deciding to sue the homeowner.

I'm just pointing out examples of how your decision to accept a certain level of risk may have unintended consequences that affect more than just the decision maker.
egeller624 wrote:
Granted, I do not have children. But if I did, I would simply make sure they knew our home address, and what information to tell the person on the phone in the event they needed to call 911. How hard is it to put a little sticker on the phone with your address on it?

Obviously there are responsible steps you can take to make things safer, but none of them substitute for a true 911 system.

For one thing, my children are quite young (my oldest is three, youngest is one). Hopefully they never need to call 911. But if something happened to my wife, it's possible. Besides the fact that the street we live on has a horrible name that sounds nothing like the way it is spelled. I myself have to spell it letter-by-letter any time I give to someone. But assuming I've taught it to her and she can remember it, I can only imagine how long it would take for an operator to get the address from a three-year-old who still gets confused sometimes when she's excited just trying to count to twenty. All of that is precious time wasted in an emergency. Not to mention even the very real possibility that, because the Vonage call is routed to a "non-emergency" line, the call doesn't get answered in the same priority as calls coming in over the 911 queue.

Yes, certainly many of us with children will look at it differently than others. There is definitely a role for responsible adults to exercise good judgment, and I would hope no parent would forego using seat belts with their kids just as I would hope no parent would choose not to have 911 service. But for those parents who are too ignorant or self-centered to exercise good judgment on their own, I believe the government has a legitimate interest in inducing those parents to provide adequate protection for their children.
[/quote]
egeller624 wrote:
And for those of you who rely solely on e911 from POTS phones... that's not infallable either. My father in law was having a heart attack and the e911 system didn't stop the paramedics from getting lost and taking over 45 minutes to reach his house.

Just my 2 cents. I'm sure I'll get blasted for it lol

Well as long as you're willing to consider the issue from the perspective of public safety at large, you won't get blasted by me, at least. Sorry to hear about your father-in-law. That story points out once again that no system is perfect, which to me underscores the need to eliminate as many potential factors as possible that can go wrong when you're dealing with matters of safety and life and death.
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egeller624
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Joined: Jan 25, 2005
Posts: 81
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quote:
Even if you argue that you are responsible for yourself, you are also responsible for others. In a nation where McDonalds gets sued for hot coffee and robbers have successfully sued homeowners for tripping on broken sprinkler heads or getting locked in garages, as ridiculous as it may sound, I can envision a guest in a Vonage household who wasn't able to reach 911 deciding to sue the homeowner.


And what if I were visiting a home that didn't have a home phone at all, only a cell... and for whatever reason the reception wasn't good enough to get an emergency call through, would I sue the person I was visiting? Would I sue the cell phone carrier? Of course not. But then I'm not one to sue McDonald's for hot coffee lol.

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ToddlerTN wrote:
However, if a new auto manufacturer decided not to put seat belts in their cars altogether, or stated in the car's owner's manual that seat belts aren't provided with the vehicle unless and until you specifically go through a special sign-up process to obtain them--and even then the seat belts provided aren't as functional or safe as traditional seat belts--intelligent people who want the option to protect themselves would rightly be concerned, and the government would never approve that car for sale to the public.


At first I thought this analogy was not valid in this situation, however as I wrote this post I realized it was perfectly analogous, just not for the reason you think it is. Seat belts are not required in cars to protect you in the event of an accident. They are to reduce the public's liability if you are hit and injured. Example: In Florida if you choose to ride a motorcycle without a helmet you must purchase insurance or post a bond to cover the difference in damages done when someone injures you versus the damages if you were wearing a helmet.

However, if we extend this argument, if I injure someone in their home, and their damages are greater because of their inability to access emergency services delayed care. Should I be held liable for the increased cost because they did not want to pay for E911 services?

Are we going to follow Florida's example and make people buy health and fire insurance or post bonds if they decline E911 so as not to increase the burden on the public health care system?
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