Intrado makes inroads to VoIP 911 with AT&T
When AT&T launches its new residential VoIP service this spring, it will feature E-911 capabilities delivered and developed with the help of Intrado.
Intrado will develop the service in accordance with AT&T’s requirements and in collaboration with the National Emergency Number Association. Teaming with Intrado will provide AT&T with national coverage of emergency services for its residential broadband users.
"We have been providing emergency solutions to meet carriers’ 9-1-1 obligations for a long time," said Stephen Meer, vice president and chief technology officer at Intrado. "AT&T has asked us to do it in ways that are best for them and their network."
Intrado will enable AT&T to route emergency calls from its IP network to public safety answering points (PSAPs), which handle the calls and dispatch response teams such as fire, police and medical personnel. The service will be available to users of both cable modem and DSL.
AT&T developed some of the first emergency response solutions. The carrier has been running a trial of residential VoIP including emergency services in three states. The service also includes unlimited local and long-distance calling. AT&T’s VoIP business quadrupled in 2003.
Although no regulation has been set to law requiring E-911 for VoIP, broadband service providers seem to be getting out in front of the issue. "I am impressed by AT&T and other early movers like Vonage," Meer said. "No one was holding a gun to their heads about 9-1-1, yet they came forward in advance of regulation. They have set the base line for a minimum service standard."
For Intrado, the broad deployment of VoIP expands its potential client base to include a wider variety of alternative providers. Meer said that every PSAP in the country is ready to handle VoIP emergency calls today. "How we provide the call initially and how it happens over time evolves. But they’re ready now," he said.
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