If you have telephone service through your computer, and call 911, emergency services may be unable to locate you. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection instead of a regular phone line, and Calhoun County E911 director Wayne Stone says this may cause some problems if you have an emergency.
Stone said they had a case over the weekend, when someone called 911 over their computer and was unable to give their location. Since the address was not in the County's 911 system, as with regular phone service, the caller's geographic location was not displayed.
People may not understand that E911 and basic 911 services may work differently - or not at all - over Voice over Internet Protocol ("VoIP") services, Stone said. Not all VoIP services connect directly to emergency services through 9-1-1.
Many VoIP providers supply enhanced E911 emergency calling capabilities to their customers as a mandatory feature of the service. Some companies offering VoIP are Vonage, Verizon and Primus among others.
Stone said that DeSoto and Lee counties have had several instances where VoIP calls were not traceable to a location. He is trying to prevent that here.
If anyone has VoIP or is selling this service, they should call Stone, county 911 coordinator at 412-3149, to link the correct address with the service. Article Manager module by by George! Software.