I typically don’t support British talkers on American TV; but John Oliver is apparently good when it comes to technology and the government. Net Neutrality can be debatable; but think E911 is something that can be agreed upon.
Anyways here’s the video and my two cents after:
At 3:45, he quotes the National Emergency Number Association’s “estimated 70 to 80 percent of 9-1-1 calls comes from wireless devices.” I’d think it’s safe to say, that a vast majority of “landlines” are actually from VOIP services that should be coming from your physical address. Seconds later, he claims that 9-1-1 came from billing addresses. That’s if you don’t have it sent to say a PO Box, and he was half true – because many Centrex lines came from billing addresses not the plant address. But Centrex isn’t his audience.
This is very true. If cloud services and apps exist; then why can’t these apps that can track you become appliances in 9-1-1 PSAPs and plug in via SIP? Believe it or not, this upgrade is basically just a change in the software. The hardware is illrelevent. You could still have digital or analog sets taking calls, it’s on what the computer screen is what counts.
Then there’s the announcements of saying “all operators are busy” this allegedly refers to short staffing; but I’d lay on the side of caution – if there was a spike of emergencies or crises featured in this montage, then I’d side with that over his “understaff” claims.
Those “butt calls” calls placed add also calls placed during performances of “love” is another reason why 9-1-1 fails. It’s too easy to call. Sure if you’re in an emergency in panic, it’s nice to hold 9 or whatever to get 9-1-1; but this is probably how some PSAPs are overloaded. Even in enterprise settings, people like Avaya Blue’s own Mark Fletcher have been in bed with the FCC to force hotels to prevent using a trunk access code to dial out for 9-1-1. Or what he has done at Avaya to force businesses out of their will to have the government tell how private companies should have 9-1-1 programed on phone systems. To me this is beyond inappropriate and is an overreach of government and taking the common sense that is often missing in IT to begin with. By supporting very technical rules that can change at any time and threatening your users of lawsuits if you don’t comply is also sobering. These types of actions are only enabling the faceless careless IT departments to be even more careless and anti users.
I digress. For enterprises, they have had similar issues like how consumers have cut the cord to wirelines; because VOIP is “mobile” and IP is not location dependent. I can have a data drop be tied to a switch, but the switch doesn’t care that I am on the 4th floor in the 6th office; in legacy PBX systems, it was programmed via the PBX of specific locations that could pass through to the 911 as a “supplemental ANI” service.
Cisco has encouraged adds moves or changes by unplugging the set and place it to a new location to make it easier for non telecom professionals to avoid doing proper changes by remapping a users’ MAC address from one cube to another. MAC remapping is too much labor for the IT department that doesn’t respect telephony. And this actually can cause even more problems for users trying to dial emergency.
I think John Oliver is right, we have taken 911 for granted. Maybe we shouldn’t take it for granted for a change. Maybe people who actually oppose changes forced by the alikes of Mark Fletcher to actually stand by their private branch exchange and stop having the government dictate how private businesses use their private phone system. Maybe “Fletch” could be better off selling snap-in apps to give better location information to these same PSAPs as Oliver has suggested. If the facts are true that Avaya Red and Blue have 50 percent of the PSAP install base; maybe they should be selling these appliances or applications, and services (i.e. through a cloud) instead.