In an effort to improve 911 services in the US, the country’s Federal Communications Commission has ruled that telephony providers are required to report any network outages that might occur so the 911 services can be monitored and maintained. This has not included VoIP providers until now.
However, a new ruling states that interconnected VoIP providers are required to report outages that meet certain criteria. This move comes after the FCC’s most recent LCR (Local Competition Report), which revealed that nearly one in three out of 87 million telephone subscriptions are now provided via VoIP and therefore carry emergency calls.
While public safety is the most important factor, the LCR also reveals that it will “ensure critical communications infrastructure remains available in times of crisis.”
Maintaining a functional 911 service may very well be the most important role the FCC plays in the United States. Expanding the scope of this reporting to VoIP will help the FCC identify and respond to large-scale problems in the service, making things like 911 calls far more reliable.
This new ruling does not appear to impact Tru’s VoIP App at all, as it appears to be line-based VoIP services only, such as Vonage. Still, this ruling may extend to software-based VoIP providers such as Skype and Tru in the future as VoIP services continue to adapt and evolve.