The RBOCs now appear to be playing ball with VOIP providers on E911, but for a price (see VOIP 911 Still Trails Wireline).
SBC Communications Inc. has been in negotiations with Vonage Holdings Corp. over the past two weeks, Light Reading has learned, while Verizon Communications Inc. Tuesday announced an E911 trial with VOIP providers, including Vonage, for this summer.
Verizon says it has been working with various VOIP providers and vendors on a generic interface between a VOIP network and the public E911 system. The interface will allow 911 calls originating on VOIP networks to be automatically routed to one of the two Public Safety Access Points (PSAPs) in New York City.
As the incumbent LEC, Verizon owns the pipe to the public E911 system and can sell access to other service providers in New York.
"Once it is up and running, we'll be taking discreet steps to make it available elsewhere," says Verizon spokesperson Mark Marchand. Verizon operates in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
SBC will likely offer Vonage an E911 interface similar to Verizon's, once the two work out their differences.
The fact that the two are talking at all is progress, considering their rocky start. "Let's be real about where they started from," says Vonage spokesperson Brooke Shulz. "The first answer they gave us was 'No, we're not going to sell it to you.' "
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