December 14, 2005 11:53 AM PST

Vonage says it's E911 compliant

Vonage said on Wednesday it now is fully compliant with federal regulations requiring phone service operators to provide enhanced 911 services to their customers.

Vonage, which said earlier this month that 90 percent of its customers could connect to enhanced 911 services via its network, announced that all of its customers can now access those services.

Under the Federal Communications Commission requirements, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operators such as Vonage are mandated to provide 911 operators with each caller's location and telephone number if they connect users to traditional telephone networks. The FCC deadline for compliance passed on Nov. 28, but some VoIP operators, including Vonage, had not achieved full compliance with the regulations.

Vonage is now able to pass along a customer's address and phone number when connecting that caller to local emergency call centers. This enhanced 911 service will display the customer information to emergency dispatchers when users dial 911 with their Vonage phone, according to the company.

"We are dedicating every resource at our command toward turning up a national E911 system," Jeffrey Citron, Vonage chief executive, said in a statement. "Not only are we spending over $50 million, but we're working with public safety to create a framework to hasten this national deployment."

Vonage noted that if a customer's information does not pop up on a dispatcher's screen, it has two other backup plans. One is to deliver the call through the traditional 911 network, verses Vonage's VoIP network, and the other is to have the company's emergency trained personnel field the call from the Vonage national 911 emergency response center.


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