Vonage, the provider of broadband phone service, announced they have agreed to purchase access to elements of the wireless and wireline Enhanced 9-1-1 network to offer its customers E9-1-1 service from SBC and BellSouth.
As a result of successful negotiations, ongoing since April, between the companies, Vonage will able to deliver both callers location and call back number to emergency services personnel for 9-1-1 calls placed throughout three of the four major RBOC territories before the end of the year. The ongoing negotiations with SBC and BellSouth have followed the spirit of the FCCs goal to forge commercial agreements, outside of a regulatory mandate, to bridge the VoIP-E9-1-1 gap as quickly as possible. This is the first time the ILECs have worked closely with any nomadic VoIP service to ensure emergency calling keeps pace with VoIP technology.
SBC and BellSouth have really come a long way over just a few short weeks we now have a good faith agreement to get this done in the marketplace so all of our customers can get E9-1-1, regardless of what number theyre calling from and where. As good corporate citizens and stewards of the E9-1-1 public trust, SBC and BellSouth have agreed to implement an E9-1-1 solution that will serve all customers including those who are mobile and those users on non-local phone numbers, said Jeffrey A. Citron, Vonages CEO. Fortunately, we have all settled, in principle, to unbundle wireless E9-1-1 elements so VoIP providers like us can implement NENAs new I2 standard, instead of being restricted to a CLEC for call delivery .
Providing the means by which broadband phone companies like Vonage can offer E9-1-1 is a major accomplishment and Vonage commends Mr. Whitacre and Mr. Ackerman for their commitment to this project. Three of the four Baby Bells have shown great leadership by working with new technologies to ensure that Internet-based communications services can interoperate with Public Safety Answering Points. Before the end of the year, Vonage will offer a true E9-1-1 solution on par with traditional telephone service, to the majority of its customers, regardless of the phone number theyve chosen to use.
The work Verizon, SBC and BellSouth have done on Vonages behalf will enable us to deploy E9-1-1 quicker than the cellular industry. We may even beat them in the race to get the majority of our customers on E9-1-1, despite the cellular industrys 10-year lead, added Citron.
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