New FCC Chair Wants to Set 911 Requirement for VoIP


The new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) says he will proposed requiring voice over Internet
protocol (VoIP) providers to offer their customers
emergency 911 dialing services. Kevin Martin, who took over
the FCC chairmanship last month after the HREF=t_ci_newsView.cfm?nid=2090>departure of VoIP proponent
Michael Powell
, says customers with VoIP have reported
trouble getting through to police through VoIP phones.

Access to 911 service is just one of the concerns being
raised about the rise of VoIP, which replaces POTS (plain-
old telephone service) with phone service transmitted
through the Internet. Many in the alarm industry HREF=t_ci_articleView.cfm?aid=1732&sid=0>are also concerned
about VoIP
and its potential to interfere with alarm

Martin told a House committee April 26 that since the FCC
has insulated VoIP carriers from state regulation, the FCC
has an obligation to act to police VoIP. While Martin
hasn’t indicated whether he may be open to further
regulation of VoIP, any regulation differs from his
predecessor Powell, who preferred a total hands-off policy
in regards to VoIP.

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