E911 Rulings for VoIP – Welcome Back to the 80's.
The FCC seems to have ruled in favor of E911 requirements for VoIP networks that touch the PSTN and the CRTC are following in their footsteps. This means ALL VoIP service providers, including those who do not even own the network their customers’ calls travel over, e.g. Vonage, Packet8, BroadVoice etc., will need to provide 911 services within 120 days or be subject to some pretty hefty fines.
The ILECS are generally going to be the first place where all of these smaller VoIP players go in order to add E911 to their offerings. The larger PSTN providers already have 911 and the interconnect would be fairly straight forward. These carriers are losing lots of revenue to VoIP, here is their chance to recoup some of those losses.
Welcome back to 80’s. The days where Tier 1 carriers rule the roost are not over. The very same carriers who are providing E911 services are the ones deploying broadband so VoIP from edge to edge is also under their perceived control but… they can’t stop it. The backlash when Mextel decided to squash VoIP on their networks would be tenfold in the US or Canada.
We are a long way from ubiquitous VoIP where there is no need to touch the PSTN networks of days gone by. The biggest challenge is mobility, us humans have become very attached to our cel phones. EDGE, EV-DO and other mobile broadband solutions are also controlled by the carriers, go figure. It’s going to be a while before we will be able to say we are really in charge of our own communications destiny, probably not such a bad thing.