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Will E911 Always Be around in the Hour of Need?

While the E911 system isn't anything new, it's facing some very real challenges from innovation much newer than it is. The growing use of mobile devices is making things very difficult for E911, however it's not going down without a fight from companies like Avaya, who are putting plenty of innovation and development into ensuring that, when-- or where -- its users need it most, it will after all be on hand.

The matter shows the need for E911 very evidently

Avaya's innovation into the matter shows the need for E911 very evidently. Businesses account for 10 to 12 percent of all 911 calls. In spite of this startling statistic, furthermore cause for alarm is shown in that until further notice 80 percent of all businesses, schools, and even government facilities need to take some kind of steps to ensure their E911 readiness. In doing so, during businesses account for a large portion of 911 calling, they're as well the least likely to be ready to use E911.

The biggest problem, as it turns out, in getting businesses up to speed with E911 is the rapid adoption of mobile devices and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems. Since mobile calling is, by definition, mobile, pinning down the location of a mobile device for use in E911 calling is a tall order. Furthermore, since VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) systems don't depend on a landline phone at all, the standard means of establishing an E911 location on a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) call are far, far more difficult than originally projected. Considering the number of states that either have 911 laws in place that require accessibility to E911, or are working on passing legislation that requires same, the stakes are high for a variety of reasons.

911 works by dialing the number, which is recognized by the Local Exchange Carrier as an emergency number. The number is at that time routed to what's called a designated E911 Tandem, a specific router geared only for 911 calls. Nevertheless in order for all the standard functions of an E911 call to take place, the call both needs to be routed correctly, and the call's location needs to be easily ascertained. In the case of businesses, this may be even worse, as E911 calls may get locations involving cubicles back, and that has the potential to make things worse, or truly more confusing.

The problem themselves

While some companies have attempted to fix the problem themselves by requiring employees dial an in-house number for emergencies, use different dialing codes to get out, or add extra digits, these practices aren't considered the most useful for the situation. Actually, in accordance with some legislation, they're outright illegal. Several Avaya tools, like the Avaya Aura and the Avaya Communication Server 1000, offer compliance outright with E911 by way of hardwired phone locations systems, location-based routing capabilities, and support for a variety of endpoints, ensuring that the E911 system can work to its fullest after all of an emergency.

Between the legal ramifications, potential PR issues, and the desire to keep employees safe and productive while an emergency, it's clear that businesses need to step up their E911 readiness. Avaya's looking to make that process much simpler, and in doing so makes their product line then worth looking into, especially for those businesses looking to save money and add features by way of VoIP calling.

More information: Tmcnet
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