Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) also called Internet, digital, broadband, or cable phone service is a rapidly growing alternative to traditional phone service. Its popularity is fueled by low prices, new features, and the consumer's ability to choose a phone number from nearly anywhere in the country (and sometimes, other countries). Many industry experts anticipate VoIP's growth will outpace the growth seen by the wireless industry in the last decade.
VoIP may look and appear to work like a traditional phone, but it connects to the internet and not a telephone line. There are several critical factors to consider regarding the impact of this service on your ability to call 9-1-1 in an emergency. While VoIP is an attractive option, it is important for consumers to understand the potential limitations the technology has with respect to accessing 9-1-1.
- Verify that you can access 9-1-1 with your phone. Check your service provider's web site for emergency calling features
- Register your address accurately. If in doubt about your 9-1-1 address, call Brazos County 9-1-1 District
- Be sure to keep your registered location current with your VoIP provider, especially if you move
- When calling 9-1-1, give your location and callback number
- Call back if you get disconnected
- If the power is out, your VoIP service may also be out
- If you travel with your VoIP adapter, your call may not reach the correct 9-1-1 center. You should call from another phone
- Inform all persons at your home or office about your VoIP service
- Post your address and phone number near your phones
- It is a good idea to know what police or sheriff's department is responsible for your 9-1-1 call and have their phone number on hand to provide to the call taker if your call arrives at a remote call center
- For more information about 9-1-1 and Voice over Internet Protocol phones go to: www.911voip.org
9-1-1 IS FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY - CALL IF YOU CAN, TEXT IF YOU CAN'T