Feeds

999 comes to VoIP

Emergency calls are go, barring break-ups

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Ofcom, the UK regulator, has decreed that VoIP services are going to have to connect 999 calls to the emergency services, though not until September 2008.

VoIP services have been improving in quality and usability to the point where many are indistinguishable from the traditional phone service, depending on the bandwidth available, and Ofcom reckons that's confusing punters who expect to be able to dial 999 (or 112, the EU-wide emergency number) from any normal handset.

Last time Ofcom looked at the issue, just over a year ago, 36 per cent of UK households with a VoIP service couldn't access the emergency services, though most of them were unaware of it.

Since then adoption of VoIP has doubled to ten per cent of UK homes.

Not every VoIP provider will be affected by this - services which offer a "Click To Call" button on websites won't be required to offer 999, but any service which allows the user to call normal landlines will have to link to the emergency services.

So anything that looks like a normal phone should be able to dial the emergency services by September 8, 2008. Just make sure you're not downloading the latest bitTorrent when you need to make that call. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?