California is on the verge of a major breakthrough in the phone system stakes.
A debate is waging about calling the emergency services on 911, currently only possible if you have a landline.
State Senator Curren Price backed breaking free from this constraint, particularly if it meant that residents could save money by using alternative services such as IP telephony.
He said: “Providing this service under current law is costly and burdensome to the industry, local governments as well as the state.”
The Los Angeles Times newspaper ran a story about Californian telephone system companies “lobbying the Legislature to let them abandon large portions of the state's emergency telephone system.”
Unsurprisingly mobile network providers Verizon and AT&T are backing a bill to move away from landline-only 911 calls. They estimate huge cost savings of $100 million per year for phone system users if the changes are made.
Now there are hosted E911 solutions so that you can have the option of calling 911 without needing a landline. This gives customers more flexibility when considering whether to move entirely to VoIP based calling.
However the move is facing opposition from some consumer groups as well as the emergency services themselves, so is far from a done deal.
The corporate development manager of 911 ETC Inc, Karina Yandell, said: "This is further evidence that our emergency system is not keeping pace with advancing technology.”
“As the migration to IP telephony and wireless continues, we are challenged to make the outdated system work while prioritising people’s safety.”
She added: “911 ETC is doing what it can to provide assistance with the Public Utilities Commission hearing on enhanced 911 for VoIP and multi-line telephone systems."
VoIP Fraud is now Microsoft's Problem
1 year ago