Voice over Internet Protocol = using the internet as your phone carrier.
You have probably already heard of VoIP; if not, you will. The technology behind this has improved greatly so the phone call will sound fine. While I'm a sucker for new gadgets and bleeding edge stuff, I advise anyone reading this to resist being an early adopter of this particular technology.
The reason for using VoIP is that it is usually much cheaper than paying your long distance carrier. I'm all for that. But: Danger Will Robinson!!
Nearly every place in the
VoIP is not always compatible with E911. Calls from VoIP phones can be lost or misrouted. Some VoIP phones will give someone a prerecorded message saying “you cannot reach 911 on this phone.” This is not a message I want to hear when I am home alone and think I'm having a heart attack.
Even if you know this and accept this responsibility - think about any guests to your home. Say you have a heart attack (or your Viagra use results in a four hour erection) and your new girlfriend/boyfriend/hookup springs to action and grabs your phone and dials 911, expecting a normal response. Well, they are going to become disgusted, angry, frightened, and will probably re-think the whole relationship when they can’t get through.
Ditto using a cell phone instead of a landline at home. If you can’t talk, don’t guess that 911 will know where you are. Even if you own the newest spiffy models with GPS chips in them, it’s up to the local government how up to date the dispatch center’s computers are. Plus, the FCC has mandated the cell providers to make their networks Phase 2 ready (giving GPS coordinates as E911 information) several years down the road. Today, don’t count on it.
Spend a few extra bucks, get a local phone line installed at your home, and keep safe.