Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

AP:"vonage faces a suit over 911 calls

Last response: in Networking
Share
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 11:32:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
when they sign up for the VOIP service.

....
Anonymous
March 23, 2005 11:40:54 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

In article <joOdnftnXvQhhd_fRVn-hg@comcast.com> Rick Merrill
<rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> writes:

>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
>when they sign up for the VOIP service.

We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP has that
shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an infusion of cash and
outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing that. What will come of the
lawsuit will be an obligation to inform customers of the shortcoming and
insist that they sign an acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for
service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you
understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a
911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 10:01:20 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Mitel Lurker wrote:
> In article <joOdnftnXvQhhd_fRVn-hg@comcast.com> Rick Merrill
> <rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> writes:
>
>
>>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
>>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
>>when they sign up for the VOIP service.
>
>
> We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP has that
> shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an infusion of cash and
> outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing that. What will come of the
> lawsuit will be an obligation to inform customers of the shortcoming and
> insist that they sign an acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for
> service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you
> understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a
> 911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.

There's a different 911 number for each customer: it's an index - how
did they ever manage to make it so complicated?
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 3:09:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill wrote:
> Mitel Lurker wrote:
>> In article <joOdnftnXvQhhd_fRVn-hg@comcast.com> Rick Merrill
>> <rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> writes:
>>
>>
>>> It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
>>> failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
>>> when they sign up for the VOIP service.
>>
>>
>> We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP
>> has that shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an
>> infusion of cash and outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing
>> that. What will come of the lawsuit will be an obligation to
>> inform customers of the shortcoming and insist that they sign an
>> acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for service. I doubt
>> Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you understand
>> what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a 911
>> surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.
>
> There's a different 911 number for each customer: it's an index -
> how did they ever manage to make it so complicated?

This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have 911 in
the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they have 112 (also
coming into use here as well) so how would you ensure an emergency call
goes to the correct destination based on where the caller *actually* is
rather than where the system *thinks* he is..?

Ivor
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 3:09:57 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Ivor Jones wrote:
> Rick Merrill wrote:
>
>>Mitel Lurker wrote:
>>
>>>In article <joOdnftnXvQhhd_fRVn-hg@comcast.com> Rick Merrill
>>><rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> writes:
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
>>>>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
>>>>when they sign up for the VOIP service.
>>>
>>>
>>>We've been trying to tell people for several months now that VOIP
>>>has that shortcoming. It's solvable, but it's going to take an
>>>infusion of cash and outfits like Vonage have no interest in doing
>>>that. What will come of the lawsuit will be an obligation to
>>>inform customers of the shortcoming and insist that they sign an
>>>acknowledgement and waiver when they sign up for service. I doubt
>>>Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you understand
>>>what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a 911
>>>surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.
>>
>>There's a different 911 number for each customer: it's an index -
>>how did they ever manage to make it so complicated?
>
>
> This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have 911 in
> the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they have 112 (also
> coming into use here as well) so how would you ensure an emergency call
> goes to the correct destination based on where the caller *actually* is
> rather than where the system *thinks* he is..?
>
> Ivor
>
>

The CallVantage answer is that the customer is responsible for entering
their correct address and location. I assumed that ATT would be able to
look up the "phone number" for the EMS at that address and location -
silly me!
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 8:06:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 20:32:49 -0500, Rick Merrill
<rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> wrote:

>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
>when they sign up for the VOIP service.
>
>...


We were told that it was necessary that 911 service be activated when
we signed up for the VoIP service in Jan '04!
Anonymous
March 24, 2005 8:07:56 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

"Mitel Lurker" <wdg@[206.180.145.133]> wrote in message
news:qu8441tet3cfdaa3ek772od4frh68bs8nu@4ax.com...
> service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When you
> understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why there was a
> 911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.

Vonage does indeed have 911 service, but you need to activate it and give
them your physical address where the phone is used. For example, I live in
California but I could easily get a phone number out of New York. I must
tell Vonage the physical address is in California so 911 operators can tell
that even though I have a New York number, I am in California.

--Dan
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 11:26:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

avoidspam@invalid.com wrote:
> On Wed, 23 Mar 2005 20:32:49 -0500, Rick Merrill
> <rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> wrote:
>
>
>>It appears that hte AG of Texas is suing Vonage Holdings Corp. for
>>failure to tell customers that 911 is not automaticly activated
>>when they sign up for the VOIP service.
>>
>>...
>
>
>
> We were told that it was necessary that 911 service be activated when
> we signed up for the VoIP service in Jan '04!

Glad to hear it!

Here is a further article on the subject:
http://www2.technologyreview.com/articles/05/03/wo/wo_h...
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 5:44:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill wrote:
> Ivor Jones wrote:

[snip]

>> This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have
>> 911 in the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they
>> have 112 (also coming into use here as well) so how would you
>> ensure an emergency call goes to the correct destination based on
>> where the caller *actually* is rather than where the system
>> *thinks* he is..? Ivor
>
> The CallVantage answer is that the customer is responsible for
> entering their correct address and location. I assumed that ATT
> would be able to look up the "phone number" for the EMS at that
> address and location - silly me!

I thought one of the main attractions of VoIP was that it doesn't matter
where you are, as long as you have a broadband connection you can plug in
an ATA (say) configured with a UK number in the US or wherever and call
back to the UK at UK rates. For example I take my Sipura SPA-2000
configured with my UK phone numbers to the US with me and connect it to my
friend's ADSL router. I then have my 2 UK numbers active in San Francisco
and I can then call home the same as if I was still there.

I then want to call the emergency services. So which number do I dial..?
The system has no idea where I am physically located so how can it route
the call to the correct destination..?

The use of VoIP for emergency access still has a way to go, I think.

Ivor
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 5:44:30 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Ivor Jones wrote:
> Rick Merrill wrote:
>
>>Ivor Jones wrote:
>
>
> [snip]
>
>
>>>This assumes everyone is in the US again of course, we don't have
>>>911 in the UK. We do have 999 though and in mainland Europe they
>>>have 112 (also coming into use here as well) so how would you
>>>ensure an emergency call goes to the correct destination based on
>>>where the caller *actually* is rather than where the system
>>>*thinks* he is..? Ivor
>>
>>The CallVantage answer is that the customer is responsible for
>>entering their correct address and location. I assumed that ATT
>>would be able to look up the "phone number" for the EMS at that
>>address and location - silly me!
>
>
> I thought one of the main attractions of VoIP was that it doesn't matter
> where you are, as long as you have a broadband connection you can plug in
> an ATA (say) configured with a UK number in the US or wherever and call
> back to the UK at UK rates. For example I take my Sipura SPA-2000
> configured with my UK phone numbers to the US with me and connect it to my
> friend's ADSL router. I then have my 2 UK numbers active in San Francisco
> and I can then call home the same as if I was still there.
>
> I then want to call the emergency services. So which number do I dial..?
> The system has no idea where I am physically located so how can it route
> the call to the correct destination..?

In the USA dial 911, then TELL them where you are. The system called
"E911" (Expanded 911) was designed for liscensed telephone companies to
communicate to an emergency call center in your immediate locality.

VOIP 911 (in the US) has to figure out where you said you were, then
figure out where the neares emergence response team is to call them.
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 5:45:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

dg wrote:
> "Mitel Lurker" <wdg@[206.180.145.133]> wrote in message
> news:qu8441tet3cfdaa3ek772od4frh68bs8nu@4ax.com...
>> service. I doubt Vonage has any plans to provide 911 service. When
>> you understand what it takes to do it you begin to understand why
>> there was a 911 surcharge on your legacy landline phone bill.
>
> Vonage does indeed have 911 service, but you need to activate it
> and give them your physical address where the phone is used. For
> example, I live in California but I could easily get a phone number
> out of New York. I must tell Vonage the physical address is in
> California so 911 operators can tell that even though I have a New
> York number, I am in California.
> --Dan

So what do you do if you want to use the system elsewhere..?

Ivor
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 8:35:48 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only way they can
know where you are physically located, there would be no other 100% sure way
of knowing. I think this is one of those situations where the old saying
"you can't have your cake and eat it too" would apply.

--Dan

"Ivor Jones" <ivor@despammed.invalid> wrote in message
news:3aimgtF6aqh6tU1@individual.net...
>
> So what do you do if you want to use the system elsewhere..?
>
> Ivor
>
>
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 10:02:09 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill wrote:

[snip]

> In the USA dial 911, then TELL them where you are. The system called
> "E911" (Expanded 911) was designed for liscensed telephone
> companies to communicate to an emergency call center in your
> immediate locality.
> VOIP 911 (in the US) has to figure out where you said you were, then
> figure out where the neares emergence response team is to call them.

You miss the point. My ATA is configured with UK phone numbers. 911 is
unknown in the UK, dialling it will not work. VoIP does not know where I
am, it assumes as I am using a UK number I am located there, that's why I
can call home for the same cost as if I was there. Even if the UK 999
number worked, it would connect me with a UK operator, which is no good to
me 5000 miles away..!

Far better to forget VoIP for emergency use, use a normal landline or a
mobile.


Ivor
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 10:02:10 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Ivor Jones wrote:
.... My ATA is configured with UK phone numbers. 911 is
> unknown in the UK, dialling it will not work.

And whose fault is that!

> VoIP does not know where I am,

Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location, unless
you are using something like Net2Phone.

> it assumes as I am using a UK number I am located there, that's why I
> can call home for the same cost as if I [were] there. Even if the UK 999
> number worked, it would connect me with a UK operator, which is no good to
> me 5000 miles away..!

People's lives have been saved by calls from 2000 miles away.

> Far better to forget VoIP for emergency use, use a normal landline or a
> mobile.

IF there is one. Also, not all cell phones have location capability yet,
but that will be required soon in the US.
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 10:04:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

dg wrote:
> You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only way
> they can know where you are physically located, there would be no
> other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of those
> situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake and eat
> it too" would apply.

So who do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot of hassle
and extra work for both me and them.

Far better IMHO to use normal landlines or mobile (cell) phones in a true
emergency.

Ivor
--
A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
Anonymous
March 25, 2005 10:04:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Ivor Jones wrote:

> dg wrote:
>
>>You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only way
>>they can know where you are physically located, there would be no
>>other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of those
>>situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake and eat
>>it too" would apply.
>
>
> So [whom] do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot of hassle
> and extra work for both me and them.

Not much: you just access a web site (click) and type in your location -
this is assuming your browser remembers usernames and passwords for you
.... oh, I forgot, that's too much work for you even thou you have time
to travel "5000 miles."
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 2:49:35 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill wrote:
> Ivor Jones wrote:
> ... My ATA is configured with UK phone numbers. 911 is
>> unknown in the UK, dialling it will not work.
>
> And whose fault is that!

Whoever decided which emergency number is used in which country, I expect.
Nothing to do with VoIP or providers of it.

>> VoIP does not know where I am,
>
> Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location,
> unless you are using something like Net2Phone.

Required by whom..? I use Sipgate (www.sipgate.co.uk). I have two accounts
with them, each with a different UK phone number and SIP ID. These are
programmed into my Sipura SPA-2000 ATA, which I then plug into my ADSL
router. There is nothing whatever to stop me unplugging it from my own
router and taking it with me anywhere in the world and plugging it into
another router there. It registers with the central server at Sipgate and
I get dial tone when I pick up the phone. I can call UK numbers at the
same rate as if I were at home and people there can call me at the normal
local rate.

Read the info on Sipgate's website, the ability to do this is one of the
prime selling points of the service. Say you live in Hong Kong, but do a
lot of business with customers in London. You can have a London phone
number, even though you don't live there.

Besides, as far as I can tell, there is no way for me to tell Sipgate or
anyone else where I am anyway..!

>> it assumes as I am using a UK number I am located there, that's
>> why I can call home for the same cost as if I [were] there. Even if the
>> UK 999 number worked, it would connect me with a UK operator,
>> which is no good to me 5000 miles away..!
>
> People's lives have been saved by calls from 2000 miles away.

Using VoIP..?

>> Far better to forget VoIP for emergency use, use a normal landline
>> or a mobile.
>
> IF there is one. Also, not all cell phones have location capability
> yet, but that will be required soon in the US.

If by that you mean GPS, there is no necessity for that to locate a phone
in use, it can be triangulated to within a reasonable distance by the
service providers anyway based on the cells in use. That's how it's done
here.

Ivor
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 2:51:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Well if you have a landline and cell phone, AND you are aware of this issue,
whats the problem? What exactly is your complaint here? I just don't seem
to get it. Its like saying "oh you mean I actually have to aquire food,
prepare it, and EAT it, just to stay alive? I am a busy person and thats a
lot of hassle and extra work. Far better IMHO to just order some chinese
food or a pizza".

--Dan

"Ivor Jones" <ivor@despammed.invalid> wrote in message
news:3aj5mdF69aj9eU1@individual.net...
> So who do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot of hassle
> and extra work for both me and them.
>
> Far better IMHO to use normal landlines or mobile (cell) phones in a true
> emergency.
>
> Ivor
> --
> A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
> Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
> A: Top-posting.
> Q: What is the most annoying thing on Usenet and in e-mail?
>
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 2:51:50 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill wrote:
> Ivor Jones wrote:
>
>> dg wrote:
>>
>>> You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only
>>> way they can know where you are physically located, there would
>>> be no other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of
>>> those situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake
>>> and eat it too" would apply.
>>
>>
>> So [whom] do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot
>> of hassle and extra work for both me and them.
>
> Not much: you just access a web site (click) and type in your
> location - this is assuming your browser remembers usernames and
> passwords for you ... oh, I forgot, that's too much work for you
> even thou you have time to travel "5000 miles."

Whose website..? I use Sipgate www.sipgate.co.uk - the only time you are
ever asked for a location is when you sign up for an account. Find me
somewhere on that site to tell them I am plugging in my equipment away
from home.

Ivor
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 3:13:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill <rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> wrote:
> Ivor Jones wrote:
>> VoIP does not know where I am,
>
> Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location, unless
> you are using something like Net2Phone.

Huh? Required by what rule? And by what mechanism would you tell them
anyway? My VoIP providers sure haven't expressed any interest in that info.

If you sign up for 911 service, then they want your address to send along
when you dial 911. That's it.

miguel
--
Hit The Road! Photos from 35 countries on 5 continents: http://travel.u.nu
Latest photos: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel, Palestine
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 11:51:36 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Ivor Jones wrote:

> Rick Merrill wrote:
....
>>IF there is one. Also, not all cell phones have location capability
>>yet, but that will be required soon in the US.
>
>
> If by that you mean GPS, there is no necessity for that to locate a phone
> in use, it can be triangulated to within a reasonable distance by the
> service providers anyway based on the cells in use. That's how it's done
> here.

And that is how it is being done in the US, in conjunction with GPS for
greater accuracy. The problem is assuring "coverage" in several senses.
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 11:52:21 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Miguel Cruz wrote:

> Rick Merrill <rick0.merrill@gmailNOSPAM.com> wrote:
>
>>Ivor Jones wrote:
>>
>>>VoIP does not know where I am,
>>
>>Not true: you are required to tell your provider your location, unless
>>you are using something like Net2Phone.
>
>
> Huh? Required by what rule? And by what mechanism would you tell them
> anyway? My VoIP providers sure haven't expressed any interest in that info.

"Required" if you want it to work!

> If you sign up for 911 service, then they want your address to send along
> when you dial 911. That's it.

That's it alright.
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 11:55:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Ivor Jones wrote:

> Rick Merrill wrote:
>
>>Ivor Jones wrote:
>>
>>
>>>dg wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only
>>>>way they can know where you are physically located, there would
>>>>be no other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of
>>>>those situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake
>>>>and eat it too" would apply.
>>>
>>>
>>>So [whom] do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot
>>>of hassle and extra work for both me and them.
>>
>>Not much: you just access a web site (click) and type in your
>>location - this is assuming your browser remembers usernames and
>>passwords for you ... oh, I forgot, that's too much work for you
>>even thou you have time to travel "5000 miles."
>
>
> Whose website..? I use Sipgate www.sipgate.co.uk - the only time you are
> ever asked for a location is when you sign up for an account. Find me
> somewhere on that site to tell them I am plugging in my equipment away
> from home.

UK does not HAVE 911 anyway: no point looking for it.
Anonymous
March 26, 2005 8:10:34 PM

Archived from groups: comp.dcom.voice-over-ip (More info?)

Rick Merrill wrote:
> Ivor Jones wrote:
>
>> Rick Merrill wrote:
>>
>>> Ivor Jones wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>> dg wrote:
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> You have to tell them your physical location. That is the only
>>>>> way they can know where you are physically located, there would
>>>>> be no other 100% sure way of knowing. I think this is one of
>>>>> those situations where the old saying "you can't have your cake
>>>>> and eat it too" would apply.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> So [whom] do I tell..? Suppose I move around a lot, that's a lot
>>>> of hassle and extra work for both me and them.
>>>
>>> Not much: you just access a web site (click) and type in your
>>> location - this is assuming your browser remembers usernames and
>>> passwords for you ... oh, I forgot, that's too much work for you
>>> even thou you have time to travel "5000 miles."
>>
>>
>> Whose website..? I use Sipgate www.sipgate.co.uk - the only time
>> you are ever asked for a location is when you sign up for an
>> account. Find me somewhere on that site to tell them I am plugging
>> in my equipment away from home.
>
> UK does not HAVE 911 anyway: no point looking for it.

No we have 999, so if I come to the US with my UK account, I can't dial
911 can I..? That's the whole point of what I was saying..!

Ivor
!