The Perils of 911 With VoIP

The CBC reports on the death of a child in Calgary demonstrates some of the challenges of emergency service with VoIP.


  1. Anonymous says:
    While it’s fun to blame VoIP providers for providing less than stellar service — the problem here is not with VoIP but with the existing 911 infrastructure being totally unaccommodating. Even cell networks in Canada, despite having quasi-gps chips in the phones, rarely ever integrate that with the 911 provider.

    There are all the technologies in place, from the registry to push and pull SOA architectures… basically, if the 911 providers _wanted_ e911 VoIP integration, we’d have it. But since the 911 centers go hand-in-hand with the carriers, its unsurprising that instead of fixing it, and providing workable integration solutions, that they would instead, attack and criticize VoIP providers on the one point they cant fix… the fact that they don’t physically own the line into the house and that people can move their phones around.

    The better question is what percent of people under 30 don’t have a landline, and rely on cell service that suffers far more drastically to these location problems than does VoIP in Canada.

    Lots of opportunity for some investigative journalism here, that is, if the CBC wants the full story.

  2. And yet
    I can access some sites and get localized information that realizes I am accessing from Ottawa.

    However, when I read the article, one item that it mentions is that the ISP was given a new address for the customer… they added it to the billing system, just not into the 911 database. Apparently that was a different form.

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