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Post new topic   Reply to topic  Vonage® VoIP Forum - Vonage News, Reviews And Discussion » Vonage Forum Archive
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LuisPR
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Posts: 292

PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 11:21 pm    Post subject: Mother Blames Baby's Death On Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

Mother Blames Baby's Death On Failed 911 Service

Woman Got Non-Emergency Police Number When She Dialed 911



DELTONA, Fla. -- A mother is outraged that when she tried to call 911 she could not get someone to help her.

It's not that an emergency operator wasn't available, but the fact that she was making the call from an Internet phone.

The phone company told WESH 2 News that it is working on the problem.

With the high cost of traditional phone service, many people are turning to lower-cost Internet phone service, but one local mom said she believes a cheaper phone service cost her her baby's life.

Cheryl Waller is frustrated but relieved that the Federal Communication Commission could soon force all Internet-based phone companies to provide enhanced 911 service.

"It's too late. The FCC has known about this for a long time," Waller said.

Waller's 3 ˝-month-old daughter Julia stopped breathing in their Deltona home in March. But when Waller called 911 through Vonage, her broadband phone service provider, all she got was a non-emergency sheriff's recording. She ran to a neighbor's house and finally got through to a 911 dispatcher. But it was too late for Julia.

"I think we lost our daughter because there was no one on the other end and I think Vonage is at fault," Waller said.

Vonage provides service for more than 500,000 customers. The company is facing lawsuits in several states stemming from complaints that 911 service failed. Waller has launched a Web site, www.911petition.com, to fight for better regulation for companies that advertise 911 service.

A spokeswoman for Vonage said her heart goes out to the family. She said the basic 911 service does work, but admits it needs work.

"We do expect to have a solution in place that allows people to call 911 and get their phone number and their location displayed on the dispatcher's screen before the end of the year," said Brooke Schulz.

But it may not be soon enough for the FCC. It's pushing for mandatory enhanced 911 service for all Web-based phone service providers as early as late September.

Although it's a step in the right direction, Waller said it's too little, too late for her family.

"This is Julia's voice. She's screaming out, 'We're going to change this and we're going to change it now,'" Waller said.

If you're shopping around for Internet-based phone services, make sure you ask if they provide enhanced 911 system, and make sure it works.

The FCC is expected to vote on the issue on May 19.
http://www.wesh.com/news/4461222/detail.html
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LuisPR
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 11:36 pm    Post subject: Family: Baby Dies After Problems Calling 9-1-1 Reply with quote Back to top

Family: Baby Dies After Problems Calling 9-1-1

DELTONA, Fla. -- A Volusia County couple is actively petitioning to shut down an Internet phone company after they say they couldn't reach 9-1-1 during an emergency.

The Waller family says their three-month-old daughter stopped breathing recently and, when they called 9-1-1, they didn't get a live operator, they got a recording.

After two more failed calls, they finally got through from a neighbor's home, but it was too late to save their daughter's life.

Cheryl and Joseph Waller blame their Internet phone service, Vonage, for not linking them to a human being.

"I want them to shut down. They're putting people's lives in danger for the quick dollar," said Joseph Waller, the baby’s father.

A Vonage spokesperson told Channel 9 that their records show the 9-1-1 call was processed and routed correctly and that the call lasted several minutes, but she could not say if the call went to an actual operator.
http://www.wftv.com/news/4457857/detail.html
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seattlezoid
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Gee I wonder if they tested the 911 calls when they got the Vonage service?
Unfortunately, Vonage does not tell you to test it in the confirmation email they send you. That should definitely be changed!
For all those reading this post:

TEST YOUR 911 SERVICE!

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paulanddonnaknight
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Joined: May 07, 2005
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Location: Lafayette, Indiana

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

seattlezoid wrote:
Gee I wonder if they tested the 911 calls when they got the Vonage service?
Unfortunately, Vonage does not tell you to test it in the confirmation email they send you. That should definitely be changed!
For all those reading this post:

TEST YOUR 911 SERVICE!


I just tested mine, & got through to the Sheriff's dept.

(I wonder what i'll get when should I need to call them in the middle of the night?)
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kd1s
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Joined: Jan 13, 2005
Posts: 78
Location: Providence, RI

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:47 am    Post subject: Vonage and E-911 Reply with quote Back to top

The lawsuits, if presented before a jury with half a brain among them will go nowhere.

Vonage clearly warns people that 911 service may not go to an emergency PSAP in most locations.

Fortunately I live in a state where E-911 was implemented correctly. Verizon doesn't own the E-911 infrastructure, the state does. Verizon only provides the database lookups via Intrado.

In other regions the local incumbents are playing a game with Voip. That game is to try and kill carriers like Vonage, etc. and offer their own cheaper services, which by the way the service won't be cheaper.

My E-911 works and I did in fact test to be sure it worked. Anyone who doesn't deserves whatever fate is bestowed upon them.
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paulanddonnaknight
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

P.S. Isn't Voip unregulated?

If so, what powers do the FCC have over Voip operators?
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scerruti
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Joined: Feb 05, 2005
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

paulanddonnaknight wrote:
P.S. Isn't Voip unregulated?

If so, what powers do the FCC have over Voip operators?


No, the FCC ruled last December that the state governments could not regulate Voip as a telecommunication service. They did not exclude them from regulation as an interstate telecommunication service.

FCC Website wrote:
The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

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paulanddonnaknight
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Still, as PSAP-911 is intrastate what could the FCC do concerning this case?

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scerruti
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 8:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

paulanddonnaknight wrote:
Still, as PSAP-911 is intrastate what could the FCC do concerning this case?


The FCC can't do anything with regard to any actual cases to this point because they have not yet adopted regulations regarding Voip 911 service. These cases would in fact be more in the purview of the FTC. The claims being made by the Attorneys General are that the product is defective.

However the FCC has the ability to enact and enforce regulations for any company engaging in interstate telecommunications. Wireless E911 and Wireless Local Number Portability are examples of FCC involvement in essentially intrastate matters. The FCC can require Voip providers operating in the US to provide E911 service and even enact a fee (to be passed on to users) to support that service.

It is likely that the FCC will eventually require Voip providers to collect both an E911 fee and a Universal Service Fee of some type. The providers should expect in return equal access to the E911 call centers and a portion of both the E911 business and lifeline business.

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kd1s
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Location: Providence, RI

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 8:27 am    Post subject: FCC and fees Reply with quote Back to top

scerruti wrote:
paulanddonnaknight wrote:
Still, as PSAP-911 is intrastate what could the FCC do concerning this case?


The FCC can't do anything with regard to any actual cases to this point because they have not yet adopted regulations regarding Voip 911 service. These cases would in fact be more in the purview of the FTC. The claims being made by the Attorneys General are that the product is defective.

However the FCC has the ability to enact and enforce regulations for any company engaging in interstate telecommunications. Wireless E911 and Wireless Local Number Portability are examples of FCC involvement in essentially intrastate matters. The FCC can require Voip providers operating in the US to provide E911 service and even enact a fee (to be passed on to users) to support that service.

It is likely that the FCC will eventually require Voip providers to collect both an E911 fee and a Universal Service Fee of some type. The providers should expect in return equal access to the E911 call centers and a portion of both the E911 business and lifeline business.


The E-911 fee I might be able to undestand, but the USF is a joke.

Name one area of the continental U.S. that doesn't have some form of telephone service be it wire line or wireless.

Instead, the USF and line fees rolled right back to the incumbent telcos. Here is a question:

Why don't cell phones have USF and line charges?
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