E911 stands for Enhanced 911. It is a solution that allows VoIP users to be connected to emergency services personnel (such as police, ambulance or the fire department) by dialing 911 on mobile or virtual phones, just as if they were using a regular landline.
Why is there a need for a special 911 solution?
Regular landlines are, by nature, defined by a physical location and are registered to customers with a specific name and address. Landlines are routed by PSTN - Public Switched Telephone Network. The PSTN can therefore easily route calls to the office of Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) nearest to the caller, where an operator will connect the caller to the appropriate agency.
VoIP numbers (and also cellular numbers), on the other hand, are location independent. A VoIP account is accessible to users anywhere in the U.S. or the world. To make things even more complex, with VoIP services, there is also an ability to use caller IDs of different areas that the user is actually located.
These factors made it very complicated to route 911 calls to the correct PSAP in the early days of VoIP. It wasn’t uncommon for providers to simply notify customers that they can’t provide support for 911 calls.
Since then providers have worked to develop technologies to facilitate 911 calls over VoIP networks and regulations have been put in place to ensure emergency services are reachable for both VoIP and cellular costumers.
The location of a VoIP user can now be determined with relative good accuracy using a combination of network topology (similar to how online maps find a location), tracking technology, address registration and other location determination techniques.
E911 Support and Requirements With Telebroad
Telebroad supports the latest implementation of E911 technologies and is fully compliant with all the relevant regulations and requirements to ensure that our users can safely make 911 calls from our VoIP based PBXellent system.
Registering your account for e911
Despite the advancements in tracking and network topology technologies, it is still not guaranteed they would automatically provide precise e911 information to the appropriate PSTN. Telebroad therefore requires its customers to perform a simple physical address registration.
There is a simple form to fill that will be emailed to you with your account, outlining the major terms and conditions for the service. After you submit it, Telebroad will do the registration on your behalf.
You can also download the form at the bottom of this page.
Please take a few minutes to review this form and understand the full restrictions of the service beyond the summary provided in this article, including situations where you may need to provide your name and address to an operator.
If you change addresses it is your responsibility to update your registration with your new location at least 10 days prior to the physical move. This can be done directly on your account by accessing the following link:
Important note about e911 During Power Outage Situations
Landlines generally work during a power outage because they receive power directly from the power companies. But VoIP equipment may not operate during a power outage without a backup source. This means that during a power outage you will not be able to make 911 calls from your VoIP equipment, unless it runs with a reserve generator or battery.
The same applies to broadband outage. E911 will not work if your network is down!