Our Ben Charny reports today that Qwest has agreed to grant Vonage full access to its 14-state, 911-call infrastructure.
When the technology is enabled, Vonage customers in the Qwest service area who dial "911" will find their calls routed directly to emergency dispatchers rather than switching centers.
In a Monday letter, Vonage let the FCC know about this arrangement, and how pleased they were with the meeting that hammered all this out.
"Vonage applauded Qwest for its willingness to put the health and safety of Americans before short-term competitive considerations," Vonage attorney William Wilhelm wrote to the FCC.
In the same letter, Wilhelm implied that SBC hasn't shown the same eagerness to provide 911 infrastructure access to Vonage that Qwest has.
Vonage claims "that SBC has agreed to begin discussions on working cooperatively to improve 911 offerings available to customers using VoIP," Wilhelm wrote. "However, Vonage also noted its concern that SBC has already provided 911 interconnection access to its unregulated VoIP affiliate.
"The terms and conditions of the access granted its affiliate are alsonot being made public and are subject to a non-tariffed 'ancillary' agreement," Wilhelm added. "Vonage reiterated its strong concern about any practice that would permit an ILEC to offer 911 access to its unregulated affiliate on a confidential and non-tariffed basis while restricting customers of other VoIP services from receiving the same level of access."
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