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daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2

Avoiding E911 fee

Is it possible for a U.S. resident to say that they are not in the U.S. or Canada (when they sign up for VOIP service), in order to avoid the monthly E911 fee? I have an AT&T landline that I could use for 911 calls, so I have no need for this "feature" on my VOIP account.

Does anyone verify that I gave the correct location when I signed up?

DoctorStinky

join:2011-11-10
Brunswick, ME
There are some VoIP providers that don't require E911, at least for US customers. VoIP.ms is one of them.

Stewart

join:2005-07-13
kudos:26
reply to daveinpoway
Before taking that shortcut, think carefully about your setup and who might need it in an emergency. See my post »Canadians - how much do you know about VoIP 911?

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to DoctorStinky
OK, but what I wish to use a provider (such as CallCentric) which does charge a monthly E911 fee (plus a setup fee) for U.S. and Canadian customers? I see that CC asks if you are in an E911 country when you sign up; will I (or the company) get in trouble I lie on this question?

I am curious- I thought that it was an FCC requirement for all VOIP providers which serve U.S. customers to provide E911- how do some providers avoid complying?

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to Stewart
As I said, I have the AT&T landline (which is probably more reliable than the VOIP service)- any 911 calls can be made this way.

My Panasonic 4-line phone is programmed to automatically connect to the landline when it goes off-hook, so a guest in my house would be connected to AT&T as soon as they picked up the handset and they could immediately dial 911 (if I had a heart attack or whatever).

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to daveinpoway
said by daveinpoway:

I am curious- I thought that it was an FCC requirement for all VOIP providers which serve U.S. customers to provide E911- how do some providers avoid complying?

The rules are more complicated than that. You only have to provide E911 in a very specific scenario. For example in the following scenarios you wouldn't have to:
1. The service is incoming-only.
2. The service is outgoing-only.
3. The service does not use customer equipment (for example a forwarding-only number).
4. The service does not require a high-speed internet connection (in other words if you use a low-bandwidth codec E911 is not required!).

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
In Situation #2, an outbound-only plan would not require E911, but CallCentric has an outgoing-only plan (»www.callcentric.com/rate/plans/pay_per_call ) which charges a 911 fee for American and Canadian customers.

Stewart

join:2005-07-13
kudos:26
Callcentric and Anveo take a very conservative view of the regulations, presumably to minimize the possibility that they would be held liable if 911 were not available when needed, resulting in disability or death. For example, someone with Callcentric pay_per_call might get incoming calls via a free IPKall DID, SIPBroker access numbers, SIP URI forwarding from another provider, etc.

With Callcentric, I've switched 911 on and off as needed (am in the US only ~4 months per year). With Anveo, once you have 911 there seems to be no way to turn it off, short of canceling the account.


crazyk4952
Premium
join:2002-02-04
united state
kudos:1
Reviews:
·CenturyLink
·Vitelity VOIP
·Charter
·Callcentric
reply to daveinpoway
said by daveinpoway:

Is it possible for a U.S. resident to say that they are not in the U.S. or Canada (when they sign up for VOIP service), in order to avoid the monthly E911 fee?

Yes.

said by daveinpoway:

Does anyone verify that I gave the correct location when I signed up?

No.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
said by crazyk4952:

said by daveinpoway:

Does anyone verify that I gave the correct location when I signed up?

No.

Hold on a second. By giving a false location you will be triggering security alarms. Pretty much every serious provider out there has security measures to combat credit card fraud, and giving a foreign address is a good way to get your account suspended (at least until someone reviews it manually). Definitely do not recommend this approach.

alpovs

join:2009-08-08
VPN to another country and sign up from there.

DoctorStinky

join:2011-11-10
Brunswick, ME
reply to daveinpoway
Rather than wrestle with morality issues, I'd suggest you subscribe to a provider that doesn't make lying necessary.

Assuming, of course, that you understand the risks.

frogli6

join:2003-10-12
Yaphank, NY
reply to daveinpoway
Just get a obi110 and a google voice account and you can have all of it for FREE.
»www.obihai.com/googlevoice.html

And you can then use e911 from the AT&T line on both lines.


Edmonton Ed

@optonline.net
reply to DoctorStinky
said by DoctorStinky:

Rather than wrestle with morality issues, I'd suggest you subscribe to a provider that doesn't make lying necessary.

Assuming, of course, that you understand the risks.

They are not "making lying necessary".

It's a customer's choice to do business with them or not. There are alternatives, as has been said.

Anveo and CallCentric are strong competitors. If both of them agree on their interpretation of the 911 requirements the presumption should be that, gosh, there just might be something to it.

The issue is, even if the customer just signs up for an inbound DID, it takes just a few seconds and a few clicks to add outbound calling as well.

Voilà, in just a few seconds, it's an interconnected account.

I would also point out that the former provider Link2Voip clearly and publicly said on their website that the Canadian CRTC had told them to require 911 service even on accounts that only had inbound (DID) service.

That was the final straw for Link2Voip, one of the reasons they decided to close up shop.

Interestingly, Link2Voip had been requiring a 911 fee for each DID, rather than requiring just one fee per account as is done with Anveo and CallCentric.

I wouldn't blame the providers for trying to comply with FCC/CRTC regs as per the best advice that their attorneys give them.

Anveo, CC, and others have obviously decided that they'd rather lose some low-spending customers, than lose a FCC/CRTC case or lose a liability lawsuit. Makes sense to me.

ratatosk

join:2010-03-26
New Westminster, BC
reply to nitzan
From my experience, callcentric doesn't seem to care. They're fine with folks checking the "won't be used from the US/Canada" box and giving an address in the US/Canada.

I have a landline and only use voip from my iPhone. No need to pay for E911 on the voip account. The cell phone calls 911 just fine natively as does my landline.

said by nitzan:

said by crazyk4952:

said by daveinpoway:

Does anyone verify that I gave the correct location when I signed up?

No.

Hold on a second. By giving a false location you will be triggering security alarms. Pretty much every serious provider out there has security measures to combat credit card fraud, and giving a foreign address is a good way to get your account suspended (at least until someone reviews it manually). Definitely do not recommend this approach.



jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma
reply to daveinpoway
OMG, the set-up fee is $1.50 and the monthly fee is only $1.50. Geez, people are going to create fake off-shore addresses to avoid paying a whopping $1.50 a month? Unbelievable.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.

MichelR

join:2011-07-03
Ottawa, ON
said by jduffy:

OMG, the set-up fee is $1.50 and the monthly fee is only $1.50. Geez, people are going to create fake off-shore addresses to avoid paying a whopping $1.50 a month? Unbelievable.

Indeed.

Personally I'd get E911 on the VoIP line anyway. What if somebody is visiting and needs to call 911 and doesn't know what's VoIP or not. Calls 911 and nothing. Time wasted in an emergency = not good. Just something to take into consideration.

nitzan
Premium,VIP
join:2008-02-27
kudos:8
reply to jduffy
You're missing the point- not every setup requires E911. If I have a phone number with the sole purpose of forwarding calls to my cell phone for example - there is no need, no point, and it's a waste of money to setup E911 for it regardless of how small or big the fee is. Not every phone number is going to be used as an outgoing line.

DoctorStinky

join:2011-11-10
Brunswick, ME
Reviews:
·voip.ms
Similar to your cell phone observation, I have 2 physical residences approximately an hour from each other. I could be working out of either location on a daily basis, and really only wish to maintain 2 DIDs (work and personal) that will ring at both locations.

E911 really makes no sense for these VoIP DIDs, since there's no easy way to dynamically update the E911 addresses.

In the event of an emergency, my family has been instructed to use a cell phone.

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to MichelR
As I stated earlier, if I had an emergency and a guest had to call 911, as soon as they picked up the phone, it would default to the AT&T landline and emergency calls could be made there. It would be necessary for them to manually select another line in order to connect to the VOIP service.

Pick up the phone, get a dial-tone from AT&T and dial 911. What could be more simple?

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to frogli6
Yes, I know about Google Voice, but I picked up a nice Polycom IP telephone last week (in a thrift-shop) and I would like to use this (instead of the Obi ATA).


billaustin
they call me Mr. Bill
Premium,MVM
join:2001-10-13
North Las Vegas, NV
kudos:5
reply to daveinpoway
said by daveinpoway:

As I stated earlier, if I had an emergency and a guest had to call 911, as soon as they picked up the phone, it would default to the AT&T landline and emergency calls could be made there. It would be necessary for them to manually select another line in order to connect to the VOIP service.

Pick up the phone, get a dial-tone from AT&T and dial 911. What could be more simple?

I understand the point you are trying to make, and you have a good setup. But you are the exception, and not the standard.

There are other things to consider. What if the guest panics and starts punching buttons before getting 911 dialed? What if your land-line goes out? The odds may be slim, but what happens if a car accident takes out the remote terminal around the time someone in the house is having a heart attack?

Just something to think about.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
People have right to make their own choices.
If he doesn't need it, why to force that service on him anyway?
Just something to think about too.
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to billaustin
I understand that there are all sorts of possible situations, but, in practice, it is probably more likely for the Internet to be down than it is for the AT&T landline to fail. Also, if I were to use GoogleVoice (as has been suggested), I would not have 911 service there, either.


Hal Houston

@optonline.net
said by daveinpoway:

I understand that there are all sorts of possible situations, but, in practice, it is probably more likely for the Internet to be down than it is for the AT&T landline to fail.

QFT.

However, your particular situation is somewhat unusual, as most folks with VoIP (not all, but most) probably are not still paying for a POTS line....

..unless they have a POTS-type line as a requirement of having DSL.


jduffy
Premium
join:2006-08-20
Cincinnati, OH
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·Vonage
·net2phone
·Cincinnati Bell
·Skype
·Callcentric
·ooma
reply to nitzan
I understand what you are trying to say, the point with this tax is that government has to pay for these 911 systems. So whether you use it on that line or not is really immaterial. It is a tax on all lines classified as telephones to pay for the 911 system. Everyone must pay their fair share as politicians like to say today. Look at the tax on telephones they implemented over 100 years ago. It was to pay for the Spanish-American War. They war and those debts have long been paid, but everyone still has to pay the tax. So it's not about whether you use 911 or not, its about everyone paying the tax.
--
Atheists swear there is no Heaven, but pray there isn't a Hell.


Trev
IP Telephony Addict
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC
kudos:6
said by jduffy:

So it's not about whether you use 911 or not, its about everyone paying the tax.

Not quite. The 911 fees that are discussed here are what providers have to pay third parties to get access to the 911 system. Little to none of that money actually goes to funding the PSAP itself.

Some cities have attempted to put a per-line tax on VoIP services to fund the 911 system, and some 911 providers collect this from their customers (ie. VoIP providers), but it's largely ignored and only affects a few end users.
--
I represent AcroVoice, a full service Canadian VoIP Provider.
Buy your Obihai ATA shipped from within Canada.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
said by Trev:

said by jduffy:

So it's not about whether you use 911 or not, its about everyone paying the tax.

Not quite. The 911 fees that are discussed here are what providers have to pay third parties to get access to the 911 system. Little to none of that money actually goes to funding the PSAP itself.

Right. And they do it for money. It's a profitable business for them and that's why some pitch that you "must" to buy this service and pay for it. I personally count on 911 on my cell phone, not on VoIP provider. Why should I pay for a service, that I'm not going to use?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...

JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·Optimum Online

1 recommendation

reply to daveinpoway
I completely understand providers forcing you to have 911. This is really a CYA policy on their behalf. Today someone says "I don't need 911 on this line", tomorrow something happens and that same person sues their service provider for not making sure the line had 911 service. Just a litigious society we live in.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
said by JoeSchmoe007:

that same person sues their service provider for not making sure the line had 911 service. Just a litigious society we live in.

You can't sue service provider, if you had this option configured not to provide it. Even in the litigious society...
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...