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Re: e911 & 411 Directory Services
At 4:15 PM -0400 on 5/20/04, Joe Goldberg wrote:
I am relatively new to the VoIP world, coming from a networking background.
I was curious how people are handling 411 directory services and e911
services. Are there companies out there that can provide these services to
a VoIP wholesaler or do I need to build these services myself?
I am curious how you all are handling this.
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Your options for E911 delivery from a "switchless carrier"
(non-licensed telco) perspective using VoIP are fairly limited. My
research shows that there are two providers currently: Intrado and
TCS. Both have IP-based E911 platforms that they have rolled out and
announced via press releases. Their interfaces appear to be
expensive, and require quite a bit of programming work for your back
office staff. Both firms (with two others - I don't recall, but I'm
going to guess and say Verisign and Telcordia?) have put proposals
into NENA for standardized methodologies for E911 delivery from VoIP
providers. The only thing I can say about both is that they require
NDAs before they will even tell you what the name of their products
are, which is disheartening. Google will give you some weak
pointers, I'm sure, or you can discover the merits and drawbacks of
each after signing away your ability to talk about same.
If there are alternate commercial providers doing this on a
large-scale nationwide basis, or (preferably) state-sponsored
"neutral" authorities providing this routing data, I know myself and
many other people are interested in hearing the options that don't
involve five (or more) digits of expenditure to the left of the
decimal point. I'm sure both offer great service, but it seems to me
that E911 routing should be a matter of public sponsorship out of
E911 funding, which it is clearly NOT. There is a large discussion
of the politics of E911, which we should avoid on this list, but
suffice to say that the routing of E911 calls is a commercial venture
and not something in the public trust in any way that would be
defined as "open" by anyone in the Internet community from which many
member of this list originate. The method of moving of bits from a
"user" to an emergency operator is a fairly opaque process. The ITEF
is working on proposals to make this less of a chore with SIP and
other protocols, but it's a long road ahead to get this percolated
down to the point where it can be implemented outside of the major
commercial vendors listed above (though I'd like to be proven wrong
on this pessimistic outlook, but I fear it's not a problem of
technology - it's a problem of the incumbents having smarmier lawyers
411 ("directory assistance") is unregulated as far as I know, so I'm
sure there are many providers out there, but I'm sorry that I don't
have any immediate information on them. Does anyone have a URL for
any SIP-based telephony information service providers?
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