Monday, June 06, 2005

VoIP 911 - Location Updates

This is the first on what I hope will be a number of posts deconstructing the FCC VoIP E911 order.

The Order requires that Interconnected VoIP Service Providers must "provide their end users one or more methods of updating information regarding the user's physical location." Fine; simple enough to provide a web page for users to enter their location when they take their service on the road.

Alas, not so fast. The Order also requires that the provider include "at least one option that requires use only of the CPE necessary to access the interconnected VoIP service."

I suspect the simplest way to implement this - and the only way it can be done in 120 days - is to go ahead and build the web application, encourage your users to use it (as I suspect that the overwhelming majority of VoIP users who take their ATA on the road also have a laptop with them), and give them the option of calling the customer service number to update their location.

Of course, given some of the reports of customer service wait times of up to an hour at Vonage, it's not clear a "call customer service" option would satisfy the FCC requirement that "any method utilized allow an end user to update his or her Registered Location at will and in a timely manner..."