FCC Extends VOIP 911 Deadline

The FCC has granted a 30-day reprieve for VOIP operators to comply with regulations that require them to inform customers of the limitations of 911 calling from a Internet-based phone.

In May, the FCC ruled that companies had until November 29 to ensure that 911 calls are properly routed in emergencies. The ruling came after several high-profile cases where emergency services either were delayed or failed to respond altogether due to the limitations of VOIP.

VOIP provider Nuvio on August 16 announced it would challenge the ruling, saying the industry was being treated unfairly.

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"The 120-day requirement imposed by the FCC is arbitrary and capricious and without support in the record," Jason Talley, president and CEO of Nuvio said in a statement. "In fact, the record clearly shows that wireless companies have been given decades to implement this type of 911 service and are still far from completion."

Some providers are close to ensuring all customers will have full 911 service. In May, close to the time of the ruling, SBC and BellSouth as well as Verizon penned deals with Vonage to ensure that 911 works within those companies' service areas.

The latest ruling now extends the deadline to September 28, but the November 29 deadline to make 911 operational still exists.

While most customers have responded to acknowledge the limitations of VOIP, companies argue that the remaining customers either have alternate phone service, or are already familiar with the technology's shortcomings when it comes to 911.

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