What AT&T and Verizon's new E-911 claims downplay - or don't say

I'm not all that impressed by AT&T's and Verizon's separate announcements late yesterday that yea, they are flooring it on E-911.Sure, there's some movement, but these press releases are all about spin control- assuring anxious current and would-be subscribers that "yea, we're working on it.

I'm not all that impressed by AT&T's and Verizon's separate announcements late yesterday that yea, they are flooring it on E-911.

Sure, there's some movement, but these press releases are all about spin control- assuring anxious current and would-be subscribers that "yea, we're working on it."

Let's look at each announcement with a critical eye:

AT&T says it has begin introducing Enhanced 911 calling to its CallVantage users in a phased deployment to be largely completed this summer. In areas where testing has been conducted and completed, new subscribers will receive the enhanced service automatically, and existing subs willbe provisioned for the service.

In the event of an emergency, the service will deliver a caller's name,telephone number and service address to a dispatcher console at the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point.

The same AT&T press release, however, cautions customers who travel with their telephone adapters "to maintain an alternate means of accessing emergency services."

The press release goes on to say that while AT&T enables customers to update their service address, in such instances customers may be better served by using a hotel or other local phone to place an emergency call until real-time updates are made possible.

In short, yes, we are setting you up with automatic E-911, but nomadic VoIP? We don't quite know how we are going to do this, and we don't want to be sued by subscribers who think this capability is right here, right now.

Oh, and Verizon? Glad you asked. The way I read their latest press release, New York City subscribers to Verizon VoiceWing have to properly register their service address with VoiceWing. Then, and only then, will 911 calls delivered to the right PSAP.

OK, that's comforting, but the service is only available in New York City. And you have to register first. And what about nomadic VoIP?

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