Next Monday is the FCC deadline for VoIP customers to get back to their access providers acknowledging the limitations of E911.
Fail to acknowledge, says the FCC, and VoIP access providers are supposed to interrupt your service the next day. Until you comply by acknowledging.
But exactly what percent of VoIP subscribers have complied, and what will happen to those who don't, seem to vary by provider.
The real intangible here seems to be Time Warner Cable, and its Digital Phone Service product. The largest cable industry VoIP provider with some 600,000 users, TWC reported in its latest FCC filing that- "all customers have already been adequately informed about the risk of losing 911 service in a power outage – the primary issue for cable-based VoIP services – and that all have already acknowledged that risk."
Nowwaitaminit. How can you get all 600,000 people to comply with a deadline days or weeks in advance. It's hard to get six people to get their duff in gear. 600,000?
I think I know what's going on.
Sure sounds to me that Time Warner Cable is betting they have covered their butts with the acknowledgement notices, but is betting the FCC isn't going to enforce these acknowledgement rulings. At least not right away.
And if I am reading TWC right, it seems that they've made the decision to use their perception of FCC leniency - or maybe just FCC preoccupation - to not piss off customers by cutting them off - while at the same time buying time to implement E911 solutions.
So saying all customers have acknowledged the risk seems to me a calculated gamble to buy time without angering customers by cutting them off.
I wouldn't be so sure.
Seems like some other VoIP providers aren't engaging in such brinkspersonship.
Yesterday, a Vonage spokesperson told the Associated Press that some 96 percent of its U.S. subscribers have complied. That still leaves more than 30,000.
Human nature being what it is, I am sure that some of those procrastinatng 30,000 are going to wait 'til the last minute. But some are sure to slip thru the cracks.
What then? Vonage spokesperson Brooke Schulz tells the AP that the company has been meeting weekly with the FCC "to seektheir guidance as to how to implement the approaching Aug. 29 cutoff date."
Meanwhile over at AT&T, spokesperson Gary Morgenstern tells the AP that the percentage of E911 limitation acknowledgements from the company's CallVantage subscribers is now "significantly higher" than the 77 percent level it reported to the FCC on August 10.