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VoIP Enhanced 911 Gains House Telecom Approval

The House Telecommunication and Internet Subcommittee recently passed a bill that would improve Enhanced 911 (E911) service for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) subscribers and require a comprehensive census of broadband availability throughout the United States. The 911 Modernization and Public Safety Act of 2007 (H.R. 3403) seeks to facilitate rapid deployment of IP enabled E911 services. By implementing VoIP-based capabilities, 911 service providers can accurately identify the location of a customer who is calling over IP. Currently, E911 calls from VoIP customers are routed to third parties, such as telephone companies, who then connect the VoIP customer with the correct 911 operator.

HR 3403 has won the support of many public safety groups, such as the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officers International and the National Emergency Number Association, along with many stakeholders such as state and local agencies, telecommunication services providers, and IP network providers.

GovWin's Take

It is important for telecommunication providers, as well as Enhanced 911 system integrators and service providers, to follow this legislation as it progresses. HR 3403 now moves to the full Energy and Commerce Committee for further review. This bill would provide a multitude of business opportunities for the vendor community as state and local agencies would need to be VoIP compliant with their E911 systems, should it become law.

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