VoIP 9-1-1 Myth Busters Jim Shepard Executive Vice President HBF Group, Inc. / 9-1-1 Services
What are we going to cover? • To gain insights into the current status of VoIP and its’ impact on 9-1-1 and public safety and to dispel myths and misinformation standing in the way of VoIP Service Providers (VSPs) making informed and accurate decisions regarding VoIP.
A Quick Overview of VoIP 9-1-1 ESGW HBF i-911™ PSAP ALI / LISEmergency Routing DB VoIP Positioning Center VSPSoft Switch 9-1-1SelectiveRouter Pre-Call i-911 Address Validation SafetyResponseCenter ALI Pre-Call: Subscriber location is validated utilizing a web services interface to HBF’s i-911™ Solution. The dynamic ALI information is delivered back to the ALI over HBF’s ALI/VPC connections and then back to the PSAP. VSP’s soft switch routes the call to HBF’s session border controller. ONE STEP and you’re done. HBF takes the 9-1-1 call from here, determines call routing (PSAP or PSAP/ESN) and assigns appropriate ESRN and ESQK. HBF’s i-911 delivers the call to the Emergency Services Gateway (ESGW). ESGW delivers the call to the correct selective router. Selective Router delivers the call to the correct PSAP. PSAP queries their ALI using the HBF assigned ESQK for the call. ALI steers a query to i-911’s VPC to retrieve location information. Subscriber calls 9-1-1
MYTH Myth #1: FCC Regulation fixed VoIP 911 • The May 2005 FCC Order for E9-1-1 VoIP puts VoIP on par with wireline 9-1-1. • Address accuracy is not addressed. • PSAP funding is specifically bypassed. • PSAP vs. ESN routing, pANI administration, and other barriers to E9-1-1 deployment are not addressed. • To date, there is been little/no FCC enforcement.
MYTH Myth #2: NENA to the rescue • The NENA i2 “standard” will standardize VoIP 9-1-1. • NENA is not a standards development organization, thus “i2” is a design specification, not a “standard”. • Each of the three VPCs has implemented different flavors of i2. Hopefully this has minimal impact on PSAPs and VSPs. • It does provide a common ground so it is better than no “standard” at all.
REALITY MYTH Myth #3: An interim solution • NENA i2 is an “interim” solution. • Depends on your definition of interim. Traditional ALI and i2 will likely co-exist for 6-10 years • Migration to i3 will require LOTS of money. • However, imagine the possibilities of an IP enabled PSAP. • The network becomes responsible for location. • Be prepared for a mixed environment with three modes of 9-1-1 (“traditional”, “i2”, and “i3”).
MYTH Myth #4: Subscriber locations are valid • VoIP “registered addresses” are MSAG valid. • There is no FCC requirement for MSAG validation…yet. Some PSAPs are requirement MSAG validation. • Access to MSAG data is not universal. Some ILECs charge for it; others won’t give it up at all. • At a minimum, all three VPC solutions perform postal validation. • There is a huge need for consolidated Validation Data Bases (VDBs) and ESZ Routing Data Bases (ERDBs) to facilitate validation by “non-carriers”.
MYTH Myth #5: VoIP = Nationwide E9-1-1 • VoIP E9-1-1 will have a nationwide footprint. • There is current nationwide delivery capability, just not “enhanced”. • Enhanced = Delivery over 911 network with valid location and call back number • Basic = Delivery over 911 network with NO valid location and NO call back number • VoIP E9-1-1 will likely never happen due to technical limitations outside of VoIP (Selective Router access, ALI steering, PSAP limitations, etc.) • Do we need to provide for VoIP E9-1-1 if there is no broadband?
REALITY Myth #6:9-1-1 Service Fees • Collection and disbursement of VoIP Fees at is inevitable. • Without funding, the public safety community be broke(r). • PSAP funding is specifically bypassed in FCC 05-116. • PSAP vs. ESN routing, pANI administration, and other barriers to E9-1-1 deployment are not addressed. To date, there is been little/no FCC enforcement.
Myth #6:(continued) 9-1-1 Service Fees • Assess 9-1-1 surcharge on broadband connections. • Many telephone lines will never be used to place a 9-1-1 call (fax machines, modems, remote telemetry devices, etc) but surcharge is assessed because capability must be maintained. • Same logic applies to broadband Internet access connections. PSAP authorities must take steps (and spend money) to establish and maintain 9-1-1 capability.
Myth #6:(continued) 9-1-1 Service Fees • Most broadband access is provided by telephone companies (DSL) and CATV companies (cable modem). Most CATV also operate as CLECs. • These entities already collect 9-1-1 surcharges. It should not be a hardship to expand collections to broadband access connections.
MYTH Myth #7: Notification = Education • FCC required “Customer Notification” solves the consumer education issue. • No amount of education will get the average consumer to understand the nuances of 9-1-1. • Providers need to help educate their customers, and consumers will need to take responsibility to stay educated.
REALITY Myth #8: They don’t know where they are • Subscriber-provided “registered address” location information is the Achilles heel of VoIP E9-1-1. • In the past, customer’s never had to worry about updating their location before making a 9-1-1 call. Even with wireless, the network (not the caller) provides a majority of the location data. • Most commercially available VoIP solutions rely on the accuracy and timeliness of customer supplied location information.
MYTH Myth #9: VPCs only needed for nomadic • A service provider only needs to use a VPC if you are offering nomadic service • You need a VPC is you are offering “foreign” NPA-Nxx numbers (e.g., a NYC “212” TN in Texas) • You need a VPC is you are supporting remote users / locations • Telecommuters • Multiple branches from a single IP-PBX
MYTH Myth #10: All solutions are the same • All VPCs are the same • Differences in address provisioning • Demand real time address validation • Demand SOAP-based web service • Differences in network requirements • Reject any solution that requires multiple dedicated circuits • Difference in call handling • Do you really want to be responsible for call monitoring and contingency routing? • Difference in business execution • Don’t be “guilty by association” with a VPC that agitates the public safety community with “war dial” testing.
Want To Learn More? • HBF / 9-1-1 Services is located at Booth #226 • www.hbfgroup.com • email@example.com • 512-481-0911