Government Technology

APCO International Applauds U.S. Senate for Closing "VOIP 9-1-1 Loophole"



September 18, 2006 By

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International last week applauded the Senate for passing legislation that builds on the existing Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules that require Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone companies to connect their customers to the local public safety answering point (PSAP). The legislation was included in the SAFE Port Act

(H.R. 4954).

APCO International said in a release, that it "greatly appreciates the Senate's bipartisan efforts to adopt VoIP/9-1-1 legislation without provisions that would have undermined the FCC's rules."

APCO International has consistently asked the Senate to delete provisions in a similar bill, the "IP-Enabled Voice Communications and Public Safety Act of 2006" (S. 1063) that would have delayed the enforcement of the FCC's Order and could have required the FCC to waive its 9-1-1 requirements. APCO International's long standing position has been that VoIP providers should not be able to offer services to new customers in geographic areas where the provider does not comply with the FCC's 9-1-1 and E9-1-1 requirements. "Otherwise," said APCO, "those who drop their current telephone service with full E9-1-1 and substitute VoIP may have no effective 9-1-1 capability, placing their lives and those of their families at risk."

"APCO International will object to any statutory language that provides loopholes for VoIP providers to avoid 9-1-1 obligations, or delays the enforcement of the FCC Order," APCO International President Wanda McCarley said. "APCO International appreciates the Senate's action that deletes the loopholes that had been in S. 1063 and we look forward to working with the Senate and the House to ensure that any bill, which passes Congress this year, will not weaken the FCC Order."


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