Some voice over IP customers in select parts of the country could, within 6 months, have improved access to 911 emergency services, thanks to a new alliance forged between broadband phone service provider Vonage Holdings Corp. and Verizon.
"Verizon is a responsible steward of the E911 [Enhanced 911] public trust," Vonage CEO Jeffrey Citron said, "through their foresight, Vonage is able to implement an E911 solution that will serve all customers."
After the rollout takes place, customers will be relieved from having to tell emergency operators their whereabouts because, for the first time, the service will let operators know the callers location and callback number.
Since the broadband service allows customers to use area codes from other parts of the country, routing these calls to a localized emergency service has taken some serious maneuvering.
"Weve historically offered the wireline service, a select kind of solution thats restrictive because it can only use local telephone numbers," Vonage spokesperson Brooke Schulz said.
"We need to architect a solution that works for all of our customers, especially since 40 percent or more use non-local phone numbers."
Schulz said the new service should start implementation in July and be completely active throughout Verizons 28-state coverage area by the end of the year.