The Problem with the Voice over IP 911 Mandate

“Today the FCC adopted a rule requiring VoIP providers to provide emergency 911 calling services and they will have only 120 days to comply. This order sets a precedent for future technologies, because it is of a mindset that once a service begins to reach critical mass, it is ripe for burdensome regulations. Such a belief ignores the reasons why such services are popular in the first place. Low cost and new features exist because the market, not government, was the driver of the new service. Instead of forcing a one-size-fits-all emergency contact system onto each new technology, let’s revisit how communications providers can achieve social goals like 911 in ways that provide consumers with options and the ability to decide for themselves what is important. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“Yet the FCC told consumers that they have no option but to have 911 service bundled with VoIP. 911 is an important service, but it should not be a legal prerequisite for offering new communications services. Any government action that mandates the inclusion of features from legacy networks threatens the growth of new services. The FCC, while trying to help current VoIP consumers, may be hindering the future development of new, more advanced VoIP emergency service solutions.”