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VoiP phones get warning 911 sticker

Warning: this phone may not save your life

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The Federal Communications Commission has decided what to do about VoIP phones - it wants manufacuturers to put warning stickers on them.

The FCC has been struggling with how to warn people that VoIP phones cannot always be used to make emergency 911 calls. There have been a couple of high profile cases where people trying to call emergency services have had calls misdirected.

Emergency systems in the US were enhanced so operators taking calls can see the originating number and physical location. Because of the way VoIP calls are directed this information is not always available. Some VoIP contracts are tied to a particular landline, and so physical location, and some are not.

The FCC released proposed regulations 3 June and an enterprising hack at news.com has waded through the 87 page document.

Page 27 of this enlightening document calls on VoIP providers to make sure every subscriber, new or existing, are warned of the limitations they may face if connecting to the E911 system using a VoIP phone.

The FCC goes further, saying all providers: "shall distribute to all subscribers, both new and existing, warning stickers or other appropriate labels warning subscribers if E911 service may be limited or not available..."

More details from the industrious Ben Charny at News.com here. Or you can download the FCC proposals in all their glory from here. Then hit Control F. ®

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