VoIP (Voice Over IP) Issues
Just what is all the Hub-bub about "VOIP"?
What is this "VOIP" anyway?
Well, VoIP isn't really all that new. Being able
to voice communicate across the internet has been around
for some time. But for it to really be effective, one
needs pretty fast Internet speeds. Well, as the phone
and cable companies and the upcoming "WiFi" wireless
providers grow, so is the availability of these faster
or broadband internet connections. And with that comes
the Voice Over
IP communications software, hardware and even dedicated
"So just what does VoIP stand for?"
Simply, "voice over internet
VoIP is a mergence of hardware and software that
allows users to use the internet as the means of placing
telephone calls. This software breaks your voice into
data packets which are sent using IP or "internet protocol"
as opposed to the traditional circuitry of the standard
public telephone system.
"So is there an advantage of using VoIP
instead of traditional means?"
Sure is... it will mean the end of long distance
phone charges among other things. You simply pay your
monthly access as you normally do. Placing a VoIP phone
call would be like sending an e-mail.
Unfortunately, there's a big catch here and one that
effects 9-1-1 services. The technology and hype of VoIP
can and is spreading faster than service providers capability
to integrate the technology with existing communication
"So what does that mean?"
When a 9-1-1 call is placed by conventional means
(over traditional telephone lines), the call is sent
through various telephone company switches that know
how and where to route that call to the correct PSAP
or "9-1-1 Center" that should receive the call.
The problem with VoIP is that 1) there are so many
more service providers, 2)internet access accounts can
be opened closed and switched around so rapidly, that
without the cooperation of VoIP service providers, there's
no way to know where the 9-1-1 call is originating or
which 9-1-1 center should receive and handle the call.
Just as any other new technology, VoIP will eventually
come into its own and be able to provide 9-1-1 service.
Many responsible providers are working on this important
aspect of the technology. One day, hopefully sooner
than later, 9-1-1 service on VoIP will exist as it does
with ordinary telephone service, but don't forget, if
the power is out in your home or business resulting
in your computer being off, unless you have battery
backup, you still will be without communications.
For more information about VoIP and 9-1-1,
check out this website: