This morning, I noticed a Vonage Forum thread entitled "311 Service In The City of Los Angeles.
The thread's author, spdickey, writes that on a regular land line or cell phone placing a call to within city limits gets the "One Call to City Hall" service.
From Vonage, I get a "311 is not available from this phone number or ZIP code."
Incidentally, spdickey notes that his Vonage "911" dialing works just fine, thx.
Well, Vonage does offer "311" dialing, but only in specific circumstances and as you can see from the map on top of this post, only in limited areas.
Vonage is proud to offer 311 for non-emergency dialing and city information services. When you dial 311, your call is routed from the Vonage network to a public information center in your area.
*Note that 311 access depends on its availability within your area. Typically, only people within a given city's limits can dial 311. Contact your community information center for more details.
Even before my coffee was warm this morning, that information and accmpanying dlsclaimer got me to thinking about whether or not VoIP is going to work on some other three-digit calling services that are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.
Namely, what about:
2-1-1, viewed as a three-digit number for finding help and answers from social service agencies;
3-1-1, for local governmental services information;
4-1-1, for directory assistance;
5-1-1, for travel information in key cities;
6-1-1, which would, if enabled, connect you directly to your VoIP provider's tech support;
7-1-1, for telecommunications relay services for the hearing-challenged.
8-1-1, designated by the FCC as the three-digit calling code for contractors working underground to find out about any phone cables that might be in the way, doesn't directly apply to VoIP.
But just about all other three-digit number sequences, do.
While these three-digit numerical shortcuts are a vital and growing part of our telecommunications system,I don't hear a lot about initiatives to make these numbers universally functional over VoIP.
Let's get a discussion started here via TalkBack!