Thursday, April 14, 2005

VoIP - Danger, Danger

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 United States has Enhanced 911 (or E911). This means that when you call 911 the nearest dispatch center will a) answer and b) have the phone number you call in on and usually the address as well. You fall-down-go-boom or are in a fight or if your meth lab explodes, someone like me will answer and send help to you. If you are unable to give your address due to being incapacitated, I can still send help due to the E911 information.

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.

E

6 comments:

VOIP Provider said...

There is a huge explosion in the world of VOIP services. If you would like the latest information or get your VOIP ebook, feel free to visit.

VOIP Provider said...

There is a huge explosion in the world of Internet Phone Service. If you would like the latest information or get your VOIP ebook, feel free to visit.

VOIP Provider said...

There is a huge explosion in the world of Internet phones. If you would like the latest information or get your VOIP ebook, feel free to visit.

Weight Loss Expert said...

There is a huge explosion in the world of Internet phones. If you would like the latest information or get your VOIP ebook, feel free to visit.

VOIP Provider said...

There is a huge explosion in the world of Internet telephone. If you would like the latest information or get your VOIP ebook, feel free to visit.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »