V1 VoIP knows its imperative that our resellers have the most up to date information for emergency services. Here, V1 discusses how IP-PBX phone systems use 911 in the case of emergency.
Unlike phones using traditional telephone service or PSTN, VoIP phones and soft phones can work from anywhere with connectivity to the Internet or the company network. As a result, the traditional association of a phone number to a single physical location in a regional ALI database may be problematic. This is why it is VERY IMPORTANT that V1 VoIP resellers offers customers proper Enhanced 911 (E911) service.
E911 is crucial in circumstances where the caller cannot communicate his or her whereabouts, as it ensures the operator is still able to send emergency response services to the correct location. E911 also involves Selective Routing, whereby the 911 call is routed to the appropriate PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) based on the caller’s physical location.
Here is an example: a VoIP phone could move from Florida to New York and still keep its Florida telephone number. This poses a problem for call routing as, based on the caller’s telephone number, the 911 call will go to the Florida PSAP rather than to the PSAP closest to the caller’s actual location in New York. It also means that the location associated with the VoIP number in the ALI database may not reflect the phone’s current whereabouts.
Enterprises with centralized IP phone systems may also experience problems with 911. When a branch office connects to an IP-PBX located at the main office, 911 calls will be transmitted to the PSAP serving the main office instead of going to the PSAP serving the branch office.
In addition, because IP phones can move around easily on the company network while keeping the same phone number or extension, keeping track of each phone’s correct, up-to-date location information becomes extremely difficult. Advanced mobility features such as Shared Line Appearance and Extension Mobility only add to the difficulty in pinpointing a caller’s whereabouts.
E911 service automatically displays the telephone number and physical location of the 911 caller on the emergency operator’s screen. This is unlike Basic 911 service, where the distressed caller has to tell the operator where he or she is calling from.
For more information about E911 service, please contact a V1 VoIP team member to answer all your 911 and emergency call related questions.