The requirement is there but has yet to be proven by law, or enforced.
I intend to keep my voip ventures separate from my regular ISP
business. If the 911 requirement for voip is proven by law, then I can
either work to make it compliant according to the established legal
history, sell the customers to another voip provider or shut it down.
You are right, this solution is not 911 compliant. Neither is
service from Nufone, Teliax, Voipjet, Stanaphone or hundreds of other
VOIP carriers out there. The question of the degree of 911
compliance is very much up in the air right now because the FCC's
requirement is basically unenforceable. Skype is not compliant, and
yet there are millions of people on their service. As far as I'm
concerned, all of the hoopla around 911 compliance is BS that is out
there to scare people out of the voip business and tie up the
resources of the people who are in it. The model I put together
never touches the PSTN, it is purely data - no different than Skype
or MSN messenger with voice enabled or Xbox live with players talking
to each other. The distinction of what consitutes "911 capable phone
service over IP" has not been made yet and will not be made for some
You can argue the FCC's 911 requirement all your want, but
nevertheless it is there and they can fine you. If you believe the
risk is justifiable based on your revenue projections then by all
means go ahead with it.
FWIW, there is a requirement for cell companies for several years to
provide location information to e911 centers. Guess what, a majority of
the cellular carriers can't or don't provide that location information.
They have gotten exemptions over and over. That didn't stop them from
selling service and building out markets. This is the same sort of
situation. The public wants VOIP, and they are going to get it. The
911 details will get worked out over time and a few court cases.
Tying up valuable financial resources into an early stage market like
this and expecting to make a large committment without guaranteed
revenue possibilities is insanity. Committments also reduce
flexibility, and that is a key to the success of the small ISP/WISP
operator. If someone comes out with .5 cents a minute or lower
termination for low volumes, I will be able to switch my outbound
service to that provider with a couple of configuration changes. You
are going to be stuck with your committment, and if they can't
deliver the same thing you will be out of luck. It's like signing a
four year contract for Internet backbone at todays rates. The people
who did that in 2003 are now paying twice as much for bandwidth as
people who didn't sign long term contracts and maintained their
You don't need to sign a four year or large minute commitment to get
$0.005 per minute termination. Our wholesale customers average $0.002
to $0.009 per minute depending on call patterns and markets served
with no commitment.
I chose a poor way to express my point.
Here is a better way. A year ago I spoke with another prospective voip
solutions provider (similar to CommPartners) and it was going to require
a $3000/month committment in services sold to start doing my own voip
service. I am glad that I did not pursue that avenue, as it would have
been money wasted. That is the kind of committment/lack of flexibility
that I do not want to get into.
I apologize if it seems that I am being contradictory, I just think that
it makes sense to have some good healthy debate about things. We all
see things from a different perspective, and I do appreciate what you
have brought to the discussion.
Business wise, if you can do $0.005 per minute termination in the lower
48 with minimal committments and can terminate IAX, then I am interested
in more about what you have to offer. The difference between 1.5 cents
and .5 cents a minute is pretty huge for the margins, and makes the
breakeven projections work a lot better.
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