In yet another compelling turn of events in the ongoing e911 VoIP saga, the FCC decided that VoIP providers will not have to cut off subscribers who have not acknowledged their lack of e911 coverage. VoIP providers, however, must disclose how much of their subscriber base receives e911 service and stop marketing their services and accepting new customers from areas that are not e911 enabled. The ruling holds true even for those potential subscribers that have legacy 911 services. e911 service automatically identifies a caller's geographical location and routes an emergency call to a local call center.
Conservative estimates hold that 98 million mostly rural Americans won't be able to become new subscribers when the FCC ruling takes effect. The Senate proposed a bill that would require e911 service from VoIP providers but also expects more flexibility from the FCC. If the FCC's original deadline was enforced, an estimated 750,000 VoIP subscribers would have lost their service.
For more on the FCC's VoIP e911 plans:
- check out this article from CNET