Washington, D.C. – The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and members of the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) industry have forged an agreement on key elements for providing emergency 9-1-1 service to VoIP users.
NENA and the companies have agreed upon the following action items:
- For service to customers using phones that have the functionality and appearance of conventional telephones, 9-1-1 emergency services access will be provided (at least routing to a Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) 10-digit number) within a reasonable time (three to six months), and prior to that time inform customers of the lack of such access.
- When a communications provider begins selling in a particular area, it should discuss with the local PSAPs or their coordinator the approach to providing access. This obligation does not apply to any “roaming” by customers.
- Support for current NENA and industry work towards an interim solution that includes (a) delivery of 9-1-1 call through the existing 9-1-1 network, (b) providing callback number to the PSAP, and (c) in some cases, initial location information.
- Support for current NENA and industry work towards long-term solutions that include (a) delivery of 9-1-1 calls to the proper PSAP, (b) providing callback number/recontact information to the PSAP, (c) providing location of caller; and (d) PSAPs having direct IP connectivity.
- Support for an administrative approach to maintaining funding of 9-1-1 resources at a level equivalent to those generated by current or evolving funding processes.
- Development of consumer education projects involving various industry participants and NENA public education committee members to create suggested materials so that consumers are fully aware of 9-1-1 capabilities and issues.
By this agreement, NENA and the Internet communications industry have demonstrated the ability for public safety and industry to work together effectively on a voluntary basis, forging an agreement on 9-1-1 that will protect the interests of consumers, businesses and emergency personnel. The agreement recognizes the growing potential of VoIP and the universal need for consistent and reliable access to emergency services.