Former FCC wireless E911 chief: VoIP E911 to take years, not 120 days

As head of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in the mid 1990s, John Muleta oversaw the mandated requirement that cell carriers ensure access to 911 emergency services.Now an attorney in private practice with Washington, D.

As head of the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau in the mid 1990s, John Muleta oversaw the mandated requirement that cell carriers ensure access to 911 emergency services.

Now an attorney in private practice with Washington, D.C.-based Venable LLP, Muleta looks upon today's expected FCC mandatory VoIP E911 ruling as leading to a process that won't be easy.

"As I saw when (the FCC) enabled 911 operability to cellphones, and as we will see in the coming months, there are a number of steep hurdles that both the government and industry must face," he says in a statement.

"The cost will be considerable, and could in the end prove insurmountable for new carriers," he adds.

Nor does Muleta think the process will take months. He says years.

"Perhaps more importantly, there are significant complications involved in integrating these non-landline based phone services with the public safety answering points," Muleta points out. "It took a number of years, and cost a significant amount of money before wireless companies were able to overcome these problems.

"VoIP companies can expect similar difficulties."

I've been framing the same argument? Do you agree? Will all of this get done in 120 days? TalkBack to us and let us know.