One of the more ominous TalkBacks I've received to my Vonage IPO filing describes E911 chamber of horrors post was from a reader named Kenathena.
This reader identified her(?) self as a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) manager. PSAPs are often the front line of E911 calls from VoIP and mobile phones. How quickly they can route your call to the right emergency responder at the nearest public safety agency or counterpart can literally mean the difference between life and death.
For those of you who shrug off my assertion that the current inability of services like Vonage to offer true, location-detection nomadic VoIP is a matter of critical importance, Kenathena has a scenario for you. I would like you to read these words and read them well. They cut through all the "hype" about "peering," "provisioning" and other workarounds.
It is interesting to read the replies to this article, where I would agree that this is nothing new it remains disgraceful. There is no logic or sense involved in the government's failure to address this issue prior to VOIP becoming an integrated part of our communications network.
This is not the first time the feds have failed in this respect, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) still receive thousands of phone calls from cell phones with no Automatic Location Indentification (ALI). Incidentally the cell phone company only reports this location as latitude and longitude, the local 911 center (PSAP) must purchase and maintain a Geographical Information System and Interpreter program at taxpayer expense in order to understand what the cell phone company is trying to say.
911 calls aren't much of a big deal until it is your child that is choking or your car that has crashed. As a PSAP manager, trainer and emergency responder I can tell you that you won't be in the mood for twenty questions when the unthinkable happens. The Feds must get their act together and repond better to advancing technology and how it affects 911 centers and those in need.
How true. When it is your child - or you - then you want that ambulance. You don't want that "workaround."