Portable interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services can be used from virtually any Internet connection anywhere, which raises challenges for the emergency services community in determining the location from which a 911 call has originated.
You should be aware that:
-VoIP 911 calls may not connect to the PSAP, or may improperly ring to the administrative line of the PSAP, which may not be staffed after hours, or by trained 911 operators.
-VoIP 911 calls may correctly connect to the PSAP, but not automatically transmit the user's phone number and/or location information.
-VoIP customers may need to provide location or other information to their VoIP providers, and update this information if they change locations, for their VoIP 911 service to function properly.
-VoIP service may not work during a power outage, or when the Internet connection fails or becomes overloaded.
If you have or are thinking of subscribing to an interconnected VoIP service, you should:
-Provide your accurate physical address to your interconnected VoIP service provider to ensure that emergency services can quickly be dispatched to your location.
-Be familiar with your VoIP service provider's procedures for updating your address, and promptly update address information in the event of a change.
-Have a clear understanding of any limitations of your 911 service.
-Inform children, babysitters and visitors about your VoIP service and its 911 limitations, if any.
-If your power is out or your Internet connection is down, be aware that your VoIP service may not work. Consider installing a backup power supply, maintaining a traditional phone line or having a wireless phone as a backup.
-If you have questions about whether the phone service you are receiving is an interconnected VoIP service, contact your service provider for further information.
-PSAPs currently lack the technical capability to receive texts, photos and video.