Networking this Week: States Sue Vonage Over Emergency 911

VoIP provider is in the cross-hairs of state regulators; FCC may ultimately decide the issue.

May 6, 2005

3 Min Read
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It wasn't a good week to be the national VoIP provider Vonage. First, the Michigan Attorney General notified Vonage that it will take legal action against it for allegedly misleading consumers about Vonage's emergency 911 services. The Attorney General claims that Vonage customers in Michigan may not have access to traditional 911 emergency services, even though the firm implies that they will.

What started off badly soon got worse. Connecticut followed suit (literally) when its Attorney General sued Vonage for allegedly misleading customers over the company's ability to connect them to 911 emergency services --- in essence, making the same charges that Michigan made, and that Texas had previously made as well.

Ironically, this week Vonage also took a step toward solving its 911 problem, when it contracted with Verizon to allow Vonage customers to use Verizon's emergency 911 services. This means that whenever a Vonage customer dials 911 within Verizon's territory, the caller's location and callback number will be delivered to emergency services personnel, in the same way that wireless and landline information is delivered via 911.

That's still only a patchwork solution, and it's still only for one VoIP provider. But published reports this week said that the FCC may vote to require that VoIP providers deliver full 911 services by September of this year. How the providers will be required to do is remains vague, but then again, it's the federal government we're talking about, so are you surprised?

Even the 911 problem won't stop the VoIP juggernaut, though. A report out this week found that VoIP is killing traditional telephony. Info-Tech Research says that by 2008, 50% of small- to mid-sized enterprises are expected to rely on VoIP.There was plenty of other VoIP news as well, with a VoIP service launching in New Mexico, Empirix unveiling a VoIP testing service for enterprises, Avaya rolling out new VoIP phones , and AT&T announcing a network-based VoIP service to a limited number of business customers in the next several months.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Interop networking conference took place, and it had its share of news. Cisco unveiled a new line of wireless, integrated routers, Cisco honcho John Chambers touted his firm's integrated security approach, and AT&T's president of global networking technology services, chief technology officer, and CIO Hossein Eslambolchi announced that 'IP will eat everything'.

There's more, as well, and much more coming up. To keep up with the latest, check out Networking Pipeline's News section.

Links in This Story

Michigan Takes Action Against Vonage On Emergency 911 Connecticut Sues Vonage Over Emergency 911

Verizon To Provide Emergency 911 Services For Vonage Customers

FCC May Require VoIP 911 By September

VoIP Is Killing Traditional Telephony: Report

VoIP Over Wi-Fi Launches In New Mexico Empirix Unveils Enterprise VoIP Testing Service

Avaya Rolls Out New VoIP Telephones

AT&T To Offer VoIP Service to Business Customers

Cisco Unveils New Integrated Routers; Integrates WiFi Into Existing Integrated Router Line

Cisco's Chambers Touts Integrated Security AT&T's Hossein Eslambolchi: 'IP Will Eat Everything'

Networking Pipeline's News section

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