What is E911?By:Michael Roden
E911 stands for Enhanced 911, an enhanced version of the 911 emergency service, and is provided by conventional phone companies. The service is being included into VoIP packages, although the implementation has been historically problematic due to location issues. Traditionally, VoIP 911 calls did not connect to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) -- a geographically based agency responsible for answering emergency calls.
As of June 3rd, 2005, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that all Internet phone service providers interconnected to public switched telephone networks offer E911 as a standard element of their residential and business offerings. E911 delivers address-specific (versus phone number-only) call-back information to PSAPs whenever someone makes an emergency call. This enables emergency personnel to be dispatched to the scene even if the caller is unable to speak or the call is suddenly disconnected.
When you sign for VoIP services for your home or business, you must give a permanent address along with your name. Also, if you change addresses, be sure to update it with your VoIP provider to ensure accurate 911 routing.