From a young age, children are taught to dial 9-1-1 (or 1-1-2 for those living in the EU) to reach help in an emergency. Most people go about their lives without considering what makes this technology work, they just always assume it does. For those that don’t know, telephony systems providers are responsible for linking phone lines to local emergency call centers. But as telecommunications providers move away from traditional telephony systems (think landlines) toward Voice over IP (VoIP), they are placed in a difficult situation: how does this new technology work in line with regulations designed for systems that are much older?
With the inception of emergency services, phone lines were associated with a specific address. So when a 9-1-1 or 1-1-2 call was placed, it would be immediately routed to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point, or PSAP, where personnel would be available to talk to the caller and dispatch emergency resources. Through managed data archives, the responder would be able to identify the address of the caller without the caller specifying.
Simple, right? Actually, these days, not exactly.
Despite both the United States and EU both requiring telcos to offer access to emergency services, the exact specifics of the requirements varies based on where they are. The US has different regulations by state and the EU by each member country. In some locations, the telco needs to report the address of the building, while in others it needs to specify the floor of the building as well. Remember the data archives I mentioned? They make things even more complicated as making any changes to this kind of system is very complex. This is in direct contrast to the fluid nature of VoIP innovations, thus resulting in possible fines if telecommunications providers cannot reconcile traditional requirements with new technology.
How can these providers find a middle ground? Well, Phil Edholm discusses this in a new whitepaper, which gives more details on the history of emergency services systems and how choosing the right Emergency Services provider for your business can save lives at a lower cost. Read the full piece, here: Dodge Complexities and Save Costs with the Right Emergency Services Provider.
Voxbone also offers this service, VoxOUT, which allows businesses to provide emergency services access in a simple and efficient way, removing the hassle of regulatory compliance by taking care of all of the complex stuff. Click here to read more and register to sign up for the service.
Dries holds a masters degree in economics from the University of Leuven and a postgraduate masters degree in ICT from the University of Namur.
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