The United State's Energy and Commerce Committee is considering a bill that will give VoIP providers direct access to the E911 system. The bill was approved by the House panel on October 10, 2007.
Currently, E911 calls from VoIP customers are routed through a third party who then connects the calls to the E911 operator.
The 911 Modernization and Public Safety Act, approved Oct. 10, would give VoIP providers direct access to the E911 system backbone. In addition, the legislation would extend liability protections to VoIP service providers in much the same manner as traditional landline and wireless carriers.
In a statement, Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet said, "The E911 legislation is designed to ensure that a consumer calling 911 in an emergency from an Internet phone … can do so with a degree of confidence matching that of traditional phone service and wireless service."
Additionally, the bill directs the 911 Implementation and Coordination Office to craft a national plan to quickly move the nation from the current 911 system to an interoperable IP-based emergency response network that can handle voice, video, and data traffic.
You can read more about the 911 Modernization and Public Safety Act.
In Singapore, my home number is really based on VoIP and routed on top of my cable's broadband connection. I haven't had any problems since I signed up for the service last year. However, if anything does go wrong, I still have a mobile phone that I can rely on.
What about you? Would you rely exclusively on VoIP for your home?
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.