Dialing 911 is something we all hope we'll never have to do. When you are in an emergency, every second counts and the last thing you want is a delayed emergency response.
You might have a few questions about how Ooma and VoIP services in general work when you dial 911. Read below to find out more.
The Federal Communications Commission requires that VoIP service providers use the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and meet Enhanced 911 (E911) obligations. In short, all VoIP service providers must provide 911 services and not allow their customers to “opt out” of such services.
The FCC has also mandated that VoIP providers must obtain every customer’s physical location prior to service activation and provide ways for customers to easily change their home’s address if they relocate.
After customers register their Ooma Telo device, they are required to provide a valid address within their country of purchase (U.S. or Canada). This address is then filed as a service address for 911 dispatchers. When you dial 911, your service address is forwarded to emergency response personnel so that they can locate you immediately.
This is why Ooma customers must be diligent about keeping their service address up to date if they relocate to a new home or move their Ooma Telo, since the address on file with the device will be dispatched to emergency personnel.
Note: If your location cannot be determined by the service address you have on file, you will be routed to a national call center to confirm your location so that your call can be forwarded to the appropriate local authority.
The FCC also offered additional tips for ensuring VoIP customers are fully connected to 911 dispatchers:
Make sure your children, babysitters, and house guests know about your VoIP connection and the way it works with 911 service.
If your power or internet connection is down, make sure that you have a backup system in place for 911 dialing, such as a mobile phone.
Ooma provides a comprehensive home security system that takes 911 service a step further with Remote 911 capabilities. Designed to work with the Ooma Telo, Ooma’s smart home phone service, the home security system includes the unique ability to remotely place a local 911 call from a smartphone as if you were home, providing further peace of mind.
Customers can manage this system and monitor the status of their homes from their iOS (Apple) or Android smartphone. Homeowners receive real-time notifications from their home security sensors and cameras installed throughout the house, and they can place a remote 911 call whenever an emergency event occurs, such as a burglary or home damage.
If you have additional questions about how VoIP services like Ooma work with 911 service, check out our expanded list of FAQs on our website.