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What are the requirements for E911 services for VoIP providers?

VoIP service providers have specific guidelines to meet to ensure E911 services are properly configured and meet regulatory standards. Learn how to maintain E911 compliance.

The Federal Communications Commission requires voice-over-IP providers to ensure proper configuration of Enhanced...

911 services. E911 services provide caller information to emergency personnel, including a callback number and location information.

VoIP service providers that use the PSTN must meet the FCC's guidelines to reduce risks to public safety. The E911 requirements include:

  • Offer E911 services as a mandatory feature, and do not allow customers to opt out of the service.
  • Register a customer's physical location prior to activating the E911 service and provide an easy method for updating location information.
  • Transmit all 911 calls, the callback number and the caller's physical location to the appropriate emergency service call center or local emergency authority.
  • Educate customers on any limitations of their E911 services. VoIP providers must distribute warning labels to be placed on customer equipment used with the VoIP service.
  • In areas where emergency services cannot process location information or callback numbers, VoIP providers must ensure 911 calls are routed to the proper public-safety answering point to designate the appropriate resources.

On top of these guidelines for VoIP service providers, organizations should ensure phones have backup batteries, or they should keep one landline available.

Employees can use cellphones in case of an emergency, but they need to specify a physical address first, since they may hit the wrong cell tower and be routed to the wrong emergency location.  

Do you have a question for Carrie Higbie Goetz or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! All questions are treated anonymously.

Next Steps

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This was last published in July 2017

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What steps has your organization taken to maintain E911 compliance with your VoIP service provider?
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