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sbmlat
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:40 pm    Post subject: Article : Raising alarms about 911 over Net phones Reply with quote Back to top

http://tinyurl.com/3ud7a

http://tinyurl.com/56bbu (with no ads, print version)

From CNET News.com :

In recent weeks, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued Vonage, a pioneer in voice over Internet Protocol to force it to be more open about its 911 deficiencies in the wake of a shooting in Houston. In Canada, meanwhile, officials this week ordered fixed-line Voip companies to establish viable 911 service support within 90 days--or shut down.
....
"This is the last remaining major customer issue. One would hope this would tip the scales," said Vonage Chief Executive Jeffrey Citron. "We've built this 911 system, we've tested it, and in some cases passed the carriers' own tests, yet we can't even get a simple connection. Authorities have to step in. They have to ask questions--like whether these carriers are breaking the law."

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aaron12345
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2005 10:15 pm    Post subject: 911 works though Reply with quote Back to top

It seems like if you activate 911 on Vonage for 99% of the people it tends to work. On both of my lines at home 911 goes to an E911 dispatcher that sees the name and phone number (in VA). At my dad's office in DC he has Vonage and on dialing 911, he gets a E911 operator that can see his name, phone number, and address like true E911 service. Maybe I'm naive, but it seems to work pretty well for me. I was frankly surprised that they could see the phone number, and especially in DC the address, but if it works I'm happy.
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tcatnat
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think part of the issue is that people are not activating the 911 service. At least that's what happened to the guy in Houston. I saw the story on the news about 2 weeks ago, right after I ordered Vonage. Anyone who researches Voip should know about the 911 differences and required activation. The problem is, Joe Sixpack sees cheap phone service and jumps on board without any research and then gets smoked.

Also, Vonage made it very clear to me through their website and several emails and my account page that I needed to activate 911. I'm not really sure what the problem is. The government should force the phone companies to open up their 911 directories instead of letting them have a monopoly on it. It's like only letting GM use airbags and every other car company needs to produce their own alternative.
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lmrenault
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage's 911 connection seems to vary from place to place. What is really important - and Vonage doesn't tell you this - is to make a test call to the Vonnage 911 contact. Find out who they are and what they can do for you in case of your need for police/sheriff, fire, or medical emergency service. Here in Greenville, SC the Vonage 911 puts me in contact with a non-emergency sheriff's office dispatcher. (I don't live in a city). That dispatcher is there 24/7 but will not make connections for fire or medical emergencies. But she gave me the emergency contact phone numbers for fire and medical. So I programed all three numbers into my telephone speed dialer. No, it's not as good as the standard 911, but it's good enough.
The second thing you need to do is contact your local Baby Bell customer service and tell them to make the standard 911 service network available to Vonage customers. ALL Vonage users need to do this. The Baby Bells need to feel the heat of public opinion.
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aaron12345
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 1:21 pm    Post subject: activating 911 Reply with quote Back to top

I would agree that the most important thing to do is to test your 911. Maybe (mods) we should make a sticky about how to activate and test 911 properly?
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LMari
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I did a test and it rang my city's non-emergency number. She said they don't have a direct dial number besides 911 to call.

What do I do next? Eek
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aaron12345
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 2:31 pm    Post subject: old cell phone Reply with quote Back to top

Thats weird that there's no direct dial number, try to see if you can get someone else on the line that might be able to help you get those numbers because they probably exist and maybe she just doesn't know about them. In the mean time if your concerned just keep an old cellphone around for 911 - even if it doesn't have service with a carrier if its charged and is functional it will still work for 911.
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dconnor
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: activating 911 Reply with quote Back to top

aaron12345 wrote:
Maybe (mods) we should make a sticky about how to activate and test 911 properly?


Vonage 911

That has been part of our site and in my sig for sometime now.

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aaron12345
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject: 911 Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry bout that...
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dconnor
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2005 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 911 Reply with quote Back to top

aaron12345 wrote:
Sorry bout that...


No problem. If it is an issue on your mind, you should put it in your sig also.

Smile

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