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Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

Vonage Falls Down on 911

Ben Smith writes in Slate about a problem he had when he dialed 911 on his Vonage phone.What’s surprising here, though, is that Vonage makes a big deal about its 911 service. When I got my Vonage phone, the company…

  • September 9, 2004

Ben Smith writes in Slate about a problem he had when he dialed 911 on his Vonage phone.

What’s surprising here, though, is that Vonage makes a big deal about its 911 service. When I got my Vonage phone, the company had me register my address. You’ll find information about 911 at the Vonage site.

Smith claims that Vonage uses the registered address to search a database and find the phone number in the database that is closest to your house. I have trouble believing this, because that would send the police to somebody else’s house, not to your house.

Smith could be right, but he doesn’t quote anybody at Vonage to back up his claims about how their system works.

There is a discussion of other Vonage 911 problems at Broadband Reports.

I’ll drop a note to Vonage and find out what’s really going on.

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