VoIP enhanced 9-1-1? We're getting there, industry group says

A new paper by the VON (Voice On The Net) coalition and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 9-1-1 Working Group describes the goals for, and the state of, VoIP E911 solutions.The paper outlines the six specific priorities of the Working Group.

A new paper by the VON (Voice On The Net) coalition and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) 9-1-1 Working Group describes the goals for, and the state of, VoIP E911 solutions.

The paper outlines the six specific priorities of the Working Group. These are to:

Ensure 9-11 Calls Reach Emergency Responders. For service to customers using phones that have the functionality and appearance of conventional telephones, 9-1-1 emergency services access will be provided (at least routing to a Public Safety Answering Point 10-digit number) within a reasonable time (three to six months) andprior to that time inform customers of the lack of success access.

Work Directly With PSAPs in a Region. When a communications provider begins selling in a particular area, it should discuss with the local PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Point, where9-1-1 calls are received) or their corrdinator the approach to providing access. This obligation does not apply to any roaming by customers.

Work Towards 9-1-1 Solutions Using Existing 9-1-1 Networks. Support for current NENA and industry work towards an interim solution that includes a) delivery of 9-1-1 calls through the existing 9-1-1 network; b) providing the callback number to the PSAP, and c) in some cases, (being able to provide) initial location information.

Support Advanced Future 9-1-1 Solutions and IP-Enabled PSAPs.Support for current NENAand industry work towards long-term solutions that include a) delivery of 9-1-1 calls to the proper PSAP, b) providing callback number/recontact information to the PSAP, c) providing location of caller; and d) PSAPs having direct IP connectivity.

Support 9-1-1 Funding. Support for an administrative approach to maintaining funding of 9-1-1 resources at a level equivalent to those generated by current or evolving funding processes.

Educate Consumers About VoIP 9-1-1 Capabilities. Development of consumer education projects involving various industyr participants and NENA public education committee members to create suggested materials so that consumers are fully aware of 9-1-1 capabilities and issues.

"To advance these solutions, progress is being made on all six areas of the agreement," the report states. "In fact, industry is already stepping into the marketplace with E9-1-1 solutions that are more technologically sophisticated than were available at the time the agreement was developed. With additional deployment, VoIP 9-1-1 services promise to be far superior to the services offered to wireline customers today."

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