9-1-1 VoIP passes Senate, but that's far from a complete solution

9-1-1 VoIP passes Senate, but that's far from a complete solution

Summary: The IP-Enabled Voice Communications and Public Safety Act of 2007 has just been passed by the U.S.

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The IP-Enabled Voice Communications and Public Safety Act of 2007 has just been passed by the U.S. Senate.

The hill amends the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999 to irequire interstate VoIP providers to provide enhanced 9-1-1-services.

Not only that, but the bill authorizes the FCC to dictate that these providers have right of access to 9-1-1- service elements. That includes direct access to PSAP (Public Safety Answering Pint) facilities.

Additionally, the bill allows the FCC to delegate relevant 9-1-1 access to state agencies  charged with overseeing local emergency communications networks.

These are major steps toward the credibility of VoIP, but there remains one hurdle.

Innerrant point of presence detection for IP calls made over notebooks and handsets. True, there are some GPS-based solutions, but without boosters, GPS is primarily an outdoor medium.

And don't tell me about indoor boosters and adapters. The way it seems to me, the VoIP user who does not take the time and care to register a temporary location (say at his aunt's) isn't going to be the one to rig up a solution that will bring the presence-detecting aspects of GPS inside.

Topics: Hardware, Government, Government US, Mobility, Networking, Telcos, Unified Comms

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2 comments
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  • It's simple...I don't know why the VOIP guys don't just do it....

    Usually a VOIP router is the first device plugged into your internet device (cable/dsl/fiber modems)

    VOIP providers need to make that a REQUIREMENT in the setup.

    If you have a more advanced router, then you plug it into the VOIP router and that way all traffic goes through the VOIP device for management.

    Next, you place a device that is physically tripped and electronically reset into the power jack of the voip router and/or the ethernet jack of the voip router. The switch should be able to be tripped regardless of power...if there is a power outage it should not trip the switch, just a physical disconnect.

    The VOIP modem detects when the sensor/switch has been tripped and then automatically routes any website traffic to its internal configuration page next time it is on. The configuration page will simply ask the user to enter in the correct address for 911 emergency services before they can continue.

    Easier: Make a low pressure switch on the bottom so that if the voip router is lifted up *AND* the power is off, the VOIP router requires address configuration the next time it is plugged in. Perhaps a "Set Your Address" light could blink red on the front of the device if you want to.

    Ultimately the point here is to detect when the VOIP router might have been moved to a new address and force the user to confirm their address. It should not "trigger" because of a power outage alone... it should detect a physical disconnection condition. It needs to be automatic, and the confirmation of the address needs to be SUPER simple.

    I'm sure there are other ways to accomplish this, but something along these lines needs to be done to get the 911 address concerns alleviated.

    If they use my idea, I want $1 per device royalty *grin*. Wouldn't that be nice.
    quarky42
  • Finding location of caller

    It really should only take the investment of a good ip geolocation database, shouldn't be too hard I would think...

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach