VOIP void still exists with 911

While the mid-2014 switch to the E-Comm 911 system has benefited many users, it hasn’t benefited individuals with VOIP phones.

While the mid-2014 switch to the E-Comm 911 system has benefited many users, it hasn’t benefited individuals with voice over internet protocol (VOIP) phones.

“VOIP phones don’t work on the 911 system… they’re offered a limited form of 911 calling and it certainly won’t work during power or internet outages,” said Chris Vrabel, Campbell River Fire Department deputy fire Chief and administrator for the North Island 911 Corporation.

“When you dial from a land line, the operators in E-Comm… will have your name, address and telephone number associated with your account and that goes with your call to the appropriate [dispatch] centre,” said Vrabel.

“When you dial from a cell phone, your cell phone [number] and the latitude and longitude of where you’re making the call from or originating cell tower location will be sent along with your call.”

When someone in the North Island calls 911, their call is routed to E-Comm in Vancouver, where operators transfer the call to a dispatch centre in the North Island-Courtenay area for police, Victoria for ambulance or Campbell River for fire.

“That process takes about 30 seconds for them to do that,” he said, from the time the operators pick up the phone until the call is transferred to the dispatch centres.

Calls from VOIP phones however are transferred to Northern 911 in Sudbury, Ontario.

“They take your call, they have your information on account if they have it, they determine what’s going on and then they contact the B.C. operators service,” said Vrabel. “Then the operator looks up a list of where that call should go and they make that transfer. It’s certainly not a quick process, let’s be clear about that.”

According to the CRTC, of the 11.3 million residential home phone customers across the country in 2013, nearly half of them had VOIP phones instead of using a traditional cable company.

When VOIP calls are finally transferred to the appropriate dispatch centre, the enhanced location and phone number information is not available.

“It’s a voice call only. When we get the call on our screen we’re only getting your voice.”

According to Vrabel, while many switch to VOIP phones from traditional land lines for the cost savings, they need to be aware of the consequences.

“The CRTC has mandated that the VOIP phone providers put out a disclaimer with the product that 911 service is limited with their product. In a lot of cases the VOIP providers charge an additional fee to become part of the North Island 911 service.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Just Posted

Aidan See played for the North Island Silvertips during the 2019-2020 season. (PHOTO COURTESY RON HAYES)
VIJHL: Port Alberni Bombers add hometown talent to roster

Junior B hockey club signs Aidan See, Blake Power and Grayson Erickson

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read