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AT&T finds 911 workaround

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AT&T claims it has found a way to satisfy US regulators that it can properly link its Voice Over Internet Protocol subscribers to 911 - the emergency services.

The Federal Communications Commission has given VoIP firms until the end of November to find a way to ascertain the physical location of any VoIP subscriber who contacts the emergency services. The regular 911 service in the US works with a database of landline subscribers to identify exactly where calls are made from. Because VoIP calls may be routed through several servers it is harder to find their location. Voip firms are being sued by several people who claim they suffered damages because they were unable to connect to 911 services using VoIP services.

AT&T will suspend service for any customer when their VoIP phone is disconnected, then reconnected, to the network. Before service is restored subscribers will have to update their location. They can either confirm their primary location or they will be directed to a web page to update their address.

Observers have questioned whether AT&T has done enough to satisfy regulators - the onus is still on subscribers to update information or the service will fail.

The telco has written to the FCC informing them of the new service.®

More details from TopTechNews here.

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