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Haniltery Posted:
For wipe call
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dconnor Posted:
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Trafford Posted:
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diazou Posted:
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Av8rix Posted:
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Im trying to add
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Trowski
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:30 pm    Post subject: FCC Delays Service Cutoff until September 28 Reply with quote Back to top

FCC Delays Cutoff of Internet Phone Users

Aug 26, 3:10 PM (ET)

By JENNIFER C. KERR

WASHINGTON (AP) - A deadline has been extended that could have left tens of thousands of people without their Internet phone service next week.

The Federal Communications Commission said Friday it would delay a Monday deadline for providers of Internet-based phone calls to obtain acknowledgments that their customers understand the problems they may encounter when dialing 911 in an emergency.

Providers of the phone service, known as Voice over Internet Protocol or "VoIP," had been told by the FCC that they should disconnect service by Tuesday to people who had not responded.

The agency extended the deadline to Sept. 28. If by that time a provider still has not received confirmation, then the company should disconnect a customer's phone service, according to the FCC order.


The agency gave companies the option of turning off regular Internet phone service to a client but still allowing emergency calls to 911 to be made. As part of this so-called "soft" disconnect, a provider could also allow customers to place non-911 calls that would automatically be sent to the company's customer service center.

The VON Coalition, a group of Voip providers, was pleased with the extension but still worried about having to cut a client's service next month.

"You've got to think there's some portion of the population that's not going to return these things," said Glenn Richards, legal counsel for the coalition. "I just question whether the best result is to turn those people off."

The deadline extension followed complaints from the coalition, which includes AT&T and MCI, that customers would be left stranded in an emergency. Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and other lawmakers also wrote FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to express their concerns.

Anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 people could have been left with no service, according to industry estimates. There are about 1.7 million Voip subscribers nationwide.

The FCC issued its initial order in May after tearful testimony from a Florida mother who told the commissioners about how she was unable to summon help to save her dying infant daughter.

The commission ordered the companies to provide full emergency 911 capabilities by Nov. 28. The acknowledgments were a first step in that process.

Unlike traditional telephones, where phone numbers are associated with a specific location, Voip users can place a call from virtually anywhere they have access to a high-speed Internet connection. That can make it difficult to connect Voip accounts to the computer systems that automatically route 911 calls to the nearest emergency dispatcher and transmit the caller's location and phone number to the operator who answers the call.

Power outages can also be a problem, leaving users unable to dial 911 because the high-speed Internet modems, phone adapters and computers needed for Voip rely on electrical outlets.

Vonage Holdings Corp., the biggest Voip carrier, with more than 800,000 subscribers, said Friday that 97 percent of its customer base had responded to the company's notices about 911 risks. That leaves 23,000 subscribers the company is still trying to reach via e-mail, phone and mail.
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dconnor
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I felt that this was big news, hence the updated Vonage VoIP Forum Digest for this weekends edition.

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Trowski
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Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 1389
Location: Putnam, CT

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sorry Dan, missed the update!
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dconnor
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Trowski wrote:
Sorry Dan, missed the update!


Hey, no problem. I am glad you posted the full story.

Smile

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