FCC Adds Time For VoIP E911 Compliance

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For the second time, the Federal Communications Commission has extended the deadline for ensuring that voice-over-Internet protocol customers are aware of emergency-calling limitations.

The FCC last Tuesday said it would give providers until Oct. 31 to achieve 100% compliance before the agency would consider enforcement action.

In May, the agency ordered so-called interconnected VoIP providers to offer E911 by late November and collect acknowledgement from all customers that they are aware of circumstances in which such service over VoIP facilities might fail.

It acted after customers of Vonage Holdings Corp. were shot or died because they couldn’t reach emergency personnel due to 911 malfunctions.

In July, the FCC announced that by the end of August, cable and other VoIP providers had to disconnect customers from whom they had not received acknowledgement. After an uproar that the cutoff mandate was too harsh, the FCC tacked on 30 days and then last week added another month.

The FCC said 21 VoIP providers have attained 100% compliance and 32 others have attained 90%. The latter must continue to strive for 100%.

For VoIP providers below 90%, the FCC said it would not take action until at least Oct. 31.