Enhanced 911 and VoIP - VoIP.ms Wiki

Enhanced 911 and VoIP

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Enhanced 911 and VoIP

As you already know, 911 is the number to dial for getting access to emergency services. By dialing 911, the caller gets connected with the emergency service provider also known as PSAP, Public Safety Answering Point. This connection to the PSAP depends upon the location of the person dialing. Once connected you are able to speak to the person and explain them your emergency situation.


Enhanced 911 (E911) takes this feature a step further. When using the E911 functionality, your contact information and location data is displayed on the screen when the call is received at PSAP. E911 is particularly beneficial in instances where the caller is unable to speak on the phone and/or when the person is unsure about the location where the emergency services are required. The rise of VoIP over the years have also seen many improvements in the emergency services that are offered over IP-based communications.


These improvements are mainly due to the technological advancements. Even though E911 has been existing for roughly a decade, there are still misconceptions regarding it that customers fall prey to. Some of these myths are as follows.


1. E911 is not reliable with IP-Based Phones

Due to the technological constraints, there were times when E911 wasn't as reliable as it should have been and was no different than VoIP in terms of reliability when VoIP came into existence. However, with the technological advancements that the world has seen, E911 feature as a service has improved drastically in terms of reliability. Not only it is reliable but is also more efficient than the traditional 911 service – as E911 allows location and contact information access to emergency responders on their screen without speaking to the person. At the same time, it is also crucial for VoIP providers to guarantee that the calls will be properly routed to the most appropriate PSAP.


2. Most VoIP Providers Offer In-House E911 Service

Another come myths with regards to VoIP and E911 is, that the service is offered in-house. However, the reality is, almost all VoIP service providers outsource their E911 service offerings to state-of-the-art safety service providers. By doing so, VoIP providers are better able to focus on the business side and at the same time be able to abide by the law. As 911 deals with emergency situations, it is important that companies offering E911 services are completely dedicated to the betterment of people and serving them immediately as and when needed.


3. E911 Tracking Capabilities Are Inferior

Another myth to be debunked about VoIP and E911 is that – its user tracking capabilities are inferior in comparison to the traditional 911. This is one of the common myths which often troubles VoIP phone users. Emergency responders can pinpoint the exact location of the call - making E911 reliable and efficient service to use. Additionally, E911 can also track users on the go, when they are in need of emergency services.

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