Link to official document: HTML PDF

April 4th, 2005
CRTC Decision on 9-1-1 Emergency Services for
VoIP Service Providers

OTTAWA-GATINEAU — The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced a decision that addresses the requirements for voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service providers to offer emergency 9-1-1 service.

In this decision, the Commission requires VoIP service providers who provide fixed VoIP service to provide the same level of 9-1-1 emergency service that is provided by the incumbent telephone companies to their existing customers (either Enhanced 9-1-1 or Basic 9-1-1 service), within 90 days from the date of this decision.

The Commission requires VoIP service providers providing either nomadic VoIP service or foreign exchange VoIP service to implement, within 90 days of the date of this decision, an interim solution which provides a level of service comparable to Basic 9-1-1 service.

The different types of VoIP services and Enhanced and Basic 9-1-1 services are explained below.

In addition to the above service requirements, the Commission also requires all VoIP service providers to provide customers with notification, both before service commencement and during service provision, regarding any limitations associated with their emergency 9-1-1 service. The VoIP service providers must also secure the customer’s express acknowledgement that they are aware of these limitations, prior to providing this type of service.

VoIP service providers must notify customers of all limitations on emergency services before commencement of service to them. This information must be provided to them in the marketing material used for television, radio and printed media; in the terms and conditions of service; in on-line material; through their customer service representatives; in their service contracts and in their starter kits. Where service limitations exist, the Commission also requires that all VoIP providers provide on-going customer notification during service provisioning, by issuing warning stickers to be affixed to telephone sets, through any subsequent advertising and in billing inserts.

The CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee (CISC), composed of CRTC staff and industry, consumer and emergency services representatives, has been asked to resolve the challenges related providing Enhanced 9-1-1 and Basic 9-1-1 service with nomadic and foreign exchange VoIP services. Specific timeframes have been established for when CISC is required to report to the Commission on possible solutions and recommendations to solve the 9-1-1 issues.
Types of VoIP Services

There are currently three different types of VoIP service offered to customers: fixed, nomadic and foreign exchange. Users of fixed VoIP service can only place a telephone call from the location where their service is is being provided. Users of nomadic VoIP service can make calls from any location where users can get access to Internet service. Foreign exchange VoIP service allows users in one exchange to receive telephone calls dialled as local calls in another exchange that they have selected (e.g. a customer located in Ottawa with a Halifax local telephone number).
Existing Enhanced and Basic 9-1-1 Services

The existing local telephone network currently provides for two types of 9-1-1 service: Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) service and Basic 9-1-1 service. Enhanced 9-1-1 service automatically sends customer location information to an emergency centre where an operator dispatches a response service. Basic 9-1-1 service connects the caller to a central call centre which then connects the call to the correct emergency response centre, at which point the caller must identify his or her location in order for an emergency response service to be dispatched.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is an independent public authority that regulates and supervises broadcasting and telecommunications in Canada.
Created by: lesnet, Last modification: Sun 10 of Apr, 2005 (07:41 UTC)
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