Net-based 911 fight puts lives on line: This is a pretty scary consequence of VoIP services. Yes, geeks now about it in advance, but — as this story demonstrates — the average user doesn’t. We talked about this last year, but this story really pounds the point home.
Seventeen-year-old Joyce John frantically grasped the portable phone and dialed 911. Downstairs, her parents struggled with two armed robbers.
“Joyce, Joyce, call the police!” her mother, Sosamma, screamed. But when she did, she heard this message: “Stop. You must dial 911 from another telephone.”
Joyce grabbed another phone downstairs but got the same recording. She finally banged on the door of a neighbor, who called an ambulance. By then, her parents had been shot. They survived, but their attackers fled.
[…] Some VoIP providers don’t offer 911 at all. More typically, those such as Vonage and AT&T offer a bare-bones 911 service that doesn’t show operators a caller’s number or address. And it doesn’t ring on the emergency phone lines in the dispatch center. As a result, some 911 centers don’t accept the calls.
911 service is just one of those things you take for granted. If it wasn’t there, you’d find out about it at the worst possible time.