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CybermatriX

join:2008-06-13
North Hollywood, CA

POTS 911 vs Vonage 911

I'm thinking about switching from POTS to Vonage and I was wondering how reliable is calling 911 on a Vonage line when compared to dialing 911 on a POTS line. I've had to call 911 on my POTS line a few times and knowing the reliability for Vonage 911 is of great concern to me. I know that the customer has to keep their physical address up-to-date with Vonage, but besides that, what's the reliability of Vonage 911?



sonofjay
Mission Accomplished - Bush May 1, 2003
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-14
Malden, MA
kudos:1

1 edit

said by CybermatriX See Profilewhat's the reliability of Vonage 911?
As reliable as your internet connection to your house is.

If 911 is truly a concern and you have no back up to use like a wireless phone, then you may want to stick with POTS. No VOIP provider can beat POTS for reliability.
--
Mission Accomplished

CybermatriX

join:2008-06-13
North Hollywood, CA

I have a cell phone. Is dialing 911 from a cell phone just as reliable as dialing 911 from a POTS line? sorry for going a little off topic of VOIP...


penbay

join:2009-09-18
Warren, ME
reply to CybermatriX

in almost all locations you can keep an old pots connection for 911 dialing only even without purchasing any dial tone for it - the 911 call will still go through.



blohner

join:2002-06-26
Cortlandt Manor, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Google Voice
·Optimum Online

said by penbay:

in almost all locations you can keep an old pots connection for 911 dialing only even without purchasing any dial tone for it - the 911 call will still go through.
Not true at least in NY State Verizon territory. Once you cancel your line it goes dead - no dialotone, no 911 - even so they might leave line voltage up to keep the wires in good shape they won't allow any dialing (I have 5 such dead lines in my basement from the times before I switched everything to VoIP)
--
I am addicted to speed --- FIOS speed that is ---


sonofjay
Mission Accomplished - Bush May 1, 2003
Premium,MVM
join:2001-05-14
Malden, MA
kudos:1
reply to penbay

said by penbay:

in almost all locations you can keep an old pots connection for 911 dialing only even without purchasing any dial tone for it - the 911 call will still go through.
Where exactly have you seen this done?
--
Mission Accomplished

penbay

join:2009-09-18
Warren, ME

both upstate NY (syracuse) and MA (boston).. in both cases the cancelled line did have (unpurchased) dialtone - but only 911 calls connected (used once in each case). It wasn't attached to a bill of any sort. I have an old verizon line here in Maine that also isn't attached to a bill and it too had a dialtone last I checked it - I've never tried to dial any number on it.

I guess it isn't universal - but it was true in those cases and I believed I had read it was common. Obviously not worth relying on if other people have different experiences.


PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
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said by penbay:

in both cases the cancelled line did have (unpurchased) dialtone - but only 911 calls connected (used once in each case).
Some states require this---some don't---but the fact is that it cannot be RELIED upon. This has been discussed at length in the past in the main Voip forum.

For a current Voip 911 discussion, see:

»[General] VOIP and 911

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus
reply to penbay

Not true anywhere in Michigan. Dead is dead.

But for the OP, we have VoIP 911 with several wireless phones as backup (one dedicated to the house as the failover phone). Probably all together not as reliable as POTS 911 here, but still enough for me.



mahermusic

join:2001-07-06
U.S.A.
Reviews:
·Vonage
reply to CybermatriX

In the 7 years that I've solely used Vonage, I've had to call 911 twice. Both times it worked just fine. That's probably because my internet (first Optimum Online, and now Comcast) has been rock solid.
--
1/20/09 = The final day of our Retarded Cowboy President!



ToxicDrew
Premium
join:2001-09-24
reply to sonofjay

Here in Western Mass (Verizon) my dead POTS has 911 available to it. My kid was playing with a old phone and placed a call to 911 I found out when the police came knocking. I was dumbfounded.
--
dream your dreams with open eyes and make them come true...



snolsen

join:2004-01-10
Bedford, NH
reply to CybermatriX

With VOIP e911, when your power goes out so does your e911. If you have POTS, I bet you still have a dial tone (if you use the old style phones).


WA 425

join:2006-08-19
Lynnwood, WA

said by snolsen:

With VOIP e911, when your power goes out so does your e911. If you have POTS, I bet you still have a dial tone (if you use the old style phones).
This is true.

If you are concerned about having 911 access during a power outage with VoIP, there are two options:

a) Plug your modem, router, ATA and phone (if cordless) into a UPS so that they will have power in the event of a power outage.

or

b) (much simpler) Have a cell phone handy.


habskilla

join:2005-09-19
Moncton, NB
reply to CybermatriX

The one and only time I used e911 with Vonage, resulted in Vonage transferring me to the wrong 911 centre. Caused a delay of over ~4-5 minutes. From there on, I've used my cell.
--
If Hamilton gets a NHL team then Toronto is going to want one too...


CybermatriX

join:2008-06-13
North Hollywood, CA

said by habskilla :
The one and only time I used e911 with Vonage, resulted in Vonage transferring me to the wrong 911 centre. Caused a delay of over ~4-5 minutes. From there on, I've used my cell.

That's bad, a 4-5 minute delay. If it's a medical emergency, seconds matter. Someone can die in 4-5 minutes, if it's serious.


DownTheShore
Mr. Putin, meet SEAL Team 6
Premium
join:2003-12-02
Beautiful NJ
kudos:13
reply to CybermatriX

Here in NJ, my Verizon line has been dead since 2006. No 911 calls possible.



WiMax

join:2003-07-12
Canada
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable

1 recommendation

reply to CybermatriX

DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 from ANY VOIP LINE.

In February, I had to call 9-1-1 after my neighbour collapsed outside in sub-freezing weather. I had to talk to TWO Vonage operators before they could connect me to my local 9-1-1 Center. They all asked the same questions and forced me to repeat the answers and they repeated all the answers to each other. IT took approx. 4 minutes until I was talking to the local 9-1-1. By the time the Fire Dept and EMS arrived, my neighbour had died. My local EMS told me that their average response time for the whole city (45,000) is 3 minutes. I live two blocks from Fire Station #1, response time averages less than 90 seconds. My neighbour might have been revived had it not been for Vonage's inefficient system.

I have changed my home plan for emergency calls and sent copies to at least 5 people that I know that all have Vonage. I now have a sheet with all of the local emergency numbers on it. In fact, the local Fire Department helped me put it together and supplied me with most of the numbers I needed. I now have posters near each phone and at the doors that specifically say in huge red print, "In Emergency, DO NOT CALL 9-1-1, use the local numbers below". Anybody that visits me is made aware of the posters and not to call 9-1-1 if something happens.

Anyone that knows anything about first aid is trained that when someone stops breathing, they have 4 minutes to revive before brain damage. It took this long just to get to my own 9-1-1. Had it been faster, my neighbour might still be alive.

AND to add INSULT TO INJURY...I called Vonage and filed a formal complaint. I HAD to talk to a customer service rep in the Phillipines who was not sympathetic and said there was nothing they could do. I demanded to speak to a manager, they said essentially the same thing. I then demanded that an executive from Vonage Canada in Mississauga, Ontario Head Office (near Toronto) call me within 3 days to discuss the issue. I'm still waiting for this call 11 weeks later. In other words, the people in the Phillipines DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT US!

VONAGE - YOU MUST HIRE AMERICANS AND CANADIANS BACK AND STOP OUTSOURCING TO ASIA WHERE THEY HAVE NO CLUE ABOUT OUR CULTURE!



WiMax

join:2003-07-12
Canada
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to snolsen

said by snolsen:

With VOIP e911, when your power goes out so does your e911. If you have POTS, I bet you still have a dial tone (if you use the old style phones).
I invested in a U.P.S. (APC XS 1200) to provide backup power for my modem, router, vonage adapter, phone, one desk lamp and computer only. IT works GREAT! A few months ago, my landlord was required to install a new service at my home. The utility shut down the power to the house at 8:45am, I only had the modem, router, adapter and phone powered up and the UPS ran for nearly 7 hours. The power was out for 7.5h so I was without it for about 30 minutes but that's OK because it auto routed to a cell phone as backup.


WiMax

join:2003-07-12
Canada
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to CybermatriX

said by CybermatriX:

said by habskilla :
The one and only time I used e911 with Vonage, resulted in Vonage transferring me to the wrong 911 centre. Caused a delay of over ~4-5 minutes. From there on, I've used my cell.

That's bad, a 4-5 minute delay. If it's a medical emergency, seconds matter. Someone can die in 4-5 minutes, if it's serious.
Read my reply below - my neighbour died for this very reason and I blame Vonage.

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms
reply to WiMax

You should file a complaint with your Canadian CRTC over Vonage's 911 failure:

»www.crtc.gc.ca/RapidsCCM/Register.asp?lang=E

Perhaps also contact your local newspaper and TV stations.

Seriously.

At least file the CRTC complaint.

-----------------------------------

If anyone has such a 911 issue with a VoIP provider in the USA, complain to the FCC:

»esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm


strange_69

join:2001-08-07
Ridgecrest, CA
reply to WiMax

I went out and bought a UPS for my modem, router and vonage adapter and found out that when I loose power, so does my isp. ugh.
--
Vonage user since Mar 2004.



NetFixer
Snarl For The Camera Please
Premium
join:2004-06-24
The Boro
Reviews:
·Cingular Wireless
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1 edit

said by strange_69:

I went out and bought a UPS for my modem, router and vonage adapter and found out that when I loose power, so does my isp. ugh.
I had the same problem with Comcast as my ISP. I switched to DSL which for me has no local power requirements since my circuits are connected directly to the CO. A telco CO runs on multiple banks of batteries the size of refrigerators, and they also usually have their own generators for charging the batteries when utility power fails. OTOH, any fiber based internet connection will require at least one place where local power is required, and the battery/generator backup for such remote equipment is nowhere near as reliable (or long lasting) as a in a typical CO.
--
History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
-- Thomas Jefferson

strange_69

join:2001-08-07
Ridgecrest, CA

Well, I was pretty much screwed by Verizon. I have fiber running right to my house but Verizon is unwilling to upgrade it to FIOS. Because it is fiber running to my house, I cannot get DSL either. So the best speed I could get over my phone line was 28.8 kps (which is not an option). Therefore, I told Verizon to stick it and went with cable and Vonage. Vonage has worked out great for me although I have never had to use the E911 feature (thank God). I do have a cell phone for back-up though, just in case.
--
Vonage user since Mar 2004.


millerzone

join:2004-10-15
Kirkland, WA
reply to CybermatriX

I've been on Vonage for a couple of years and periodically I call 911 to test that I am getting to the right dispatch center and that my info comes up on their systems. No problems so far.

(Note: this sort of test may not be legal in all jurisdictions.)


skunker

join:2010-07-23
reply to WiMax

said by WiMax:

DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 from ANY VOIP LINE.

In February, I had to call 9-1-1 after my neighbour collapsed outside in sub-freezing weather. I had to talk to TWO Vonage operators before they could connect me to my local 9-1-1 Center. They all asked the same questions and forced me to repeat the answers and they repeated all the answers to each other. IT took approx. 4 minutes until I was talking to the local 9-1-1.
I can only guess that you had not yet set up your e911 before then.

I fell and broke a bone last year. Called 911. Got through immediately. I've had vonage for years.

focuspuller

join:2002-03-17
Macungie, PA

1 edit

m


focuspuller

join:2002-03-17
Macungie, PA
reply to skunker

Never had a problem calling 911 (5 calls in several months) when I had Vonage.

Now I have OOMA and had to use it twice and it also worked fine.

Both with Vonage and OOMA they knew my number and address.