Harris County wants internet phones to have enhanced 911

Thursday 24th March, 2005
An interesting thought for all you techies out there as reported by the associated press and published on the ABClocal website:

(3/15/05 - HOUSTON) — Joyce John was upstairs at home after school one day when suddenly she heard gunshots and her parents screaming. Her mother, faced with two armed robbers, yelled for the 17-year-old to dial 911.

When she did, the teenager heard this message: "Stop. You must dial 911 from another telephone. 911 is not available from this telephone line. No emergency personnel will be dispatched."

John's parents were both bleeding from gunshot wounds by the time she realized the Internet phone service her family used did not offer 911 service. It took a frantic 10 minutes after the robbers fled the home for her to reach another phone -- at a neighbor's house.

The Greater Harris County 911 Emergency Network and other emergency networks across the nation want Federal Communication Commission regulation and changes to the Telecommunications Act that would require so-called Voice over the Internet Protocol providers to offer enhanced 911 to all users.

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