The Von Coalition, a group of Internet phone service providers, has petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to give VoIP companies an additional 90 days to seek acknowledgements from all subscribers that they acknowledge the current limitations of E911 over VoIP.
Starting Tuesday of next week, VoIP providers are supposed to interrupt service for any subscriber who does not file their acknowledgement by Monday of next week.
In their petition, the Von Coalition says that these cutoffs could lead to tragic circumstances if a household that had not returned their acknowledgement letter to their VoIP provider needed to make or receive a criitically important call - and had no phone services available for that to happen.
"A mother may try to call a poison control center; a distressed teenager may try to call a prevention suicide line; a father may need to notify a child about the health of a grandparent," the letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said.
Kind of ironic that customers who would have their VoIP service shut off because they didn't file their acknowledgement of E911's limitations over VoIP would then be at risk because they couldn't make E911 calls from their VoIP provider.
There is some circular reasoning in that. Still, the Von Coalition makes some good points.
But 90 more days is too long. Extending the acknowledgement deadline out that far will result in a "cry wolf" syndrome in which few will take the FCC's acknowledgment order seriously any more.
I say give 'em 30 days more, and make them stick to it.