Re: Texas Sues Vonage Over 911 Problem

Thor Lancelot Sim>> *If* Vonage were willing to pay the same fees other local exchange

>> carriers pay for 911 connectivity *in each LATA*, *then* Vonage could >> route 911 calls correctly. Avoiding this *cost* has been a major >> competitive win for Vonage all along and it is hard to not see it as >> a major reason, if not _the_ reason, why Vonage has fought state >> regulation as a local exchange carrier: by avoiding regulatory mandates >> like 911 service standards Vonage avoids the cost of compliance. > Excellent points. > The states in my area allow a 911 fee to be tacked on to phone > bills. The money goes to the run the 911 call centers.

It's not just that. To actually do the interconnection, Vonage would need to build some infrastructure: they'd need trunks into every LATA in which they offered 911. A responsible telco would, it seems to me, see this as an unavoidable part of the cost of offering a service for emergencies reachable by dialing 9-1-1, because you basically can't give callers the same user interaction they expect in an emergency if you *don't* have those trunks. Packet8 is an example of a VoIP telco that is responsible and does the right thing: they *don't* offer a service that works in an unexpected and dangerous way when the user dials 9-1-1; they *do* offer genuine 911 service -- enhanced 911, even, though I have to question whether this is desirable, because of the low quality of the location information for VoIP -- everywhere they have managed to run trunks to. They charge their users separately for this service; we can argue about whether it should be a mandated service or not but it certainly seems equitable to charge for it if it is not mandated, and that's what they do.

What Vonage does is provice fake 911 service that may be adequate for many callers much of the time, but emergencies by defintion are not "many/much" situations: they are emergencies; they are exceptions. And for callers in some areas, the service is worse than inadequate, it actually makes emergencies worse, by wasting the caller's and the emergency personnel's time by sending the calls somewhere that cannot handle them at all.

Thor Lancelot Simon

"The inconsistency is startling, though admittedly, if consistency is to be abandoned or transcended, there is no problem." - Noam Chomsky

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Thor Lancelot Simon
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Sometimes I'm inclined to believe that many of our people are using this word "revolution" loosely, without taking careful consideration [of] what this word actually means, and what its historic characteristics are. When you study the historic nature of revolutions, the motive of a revolution, the objective of a revolution, and the result of a revolution, and the methods used in a revolution, you may change words. You may devise another program. You may change your goal and you may change your mind.

Look at the American Revolution in 1776. That revolution was for what? For land. Why did they want land? Independence. How was it carried out? Bloodshed. Number one, it was based on land, the basis of independence. And the only way they could get it was bloodshed. The French Revolution

-- what was it based on? The land-less against the landlord. What was it for? Land. How did they get it? Bloodshed. Was no love lost; was no compromise; was no negotiation. I'm telling you, you don't know what a revolution is. 'Cause when you find out what it is, you'll get back in the alley; you'll get out of the way. The Russian Revolution -- what was it based on? Land. The land-less against the landlord. How did they bring it about? Bloodshed. You haven't got a revolution that doesn't involve bloodshed. And you're afraid to bleed. I said, you're afraid to bleed.

[As] long as the white man sent you to Korea, you bled. He sent you to Germany, you bled. He sent you to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese, you bled. You bleed for white people. But when it comes time to seeing your own churches being bombed and little black girls be murdered, you haven't got no blood. You bleed when the white man says bleed; you bite when the white man says bite; and you bark when the white man says bark. I hate to say this about us, but it'
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