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House Passes e911 Bill

As expected, the House passed a Senate-modified version of a bill that would give cable operators and other Internet-phone-service providers the same rights of interconnection as traditional 911 service to ensure that 911 calls reach a local operator and that the operator can also determine the source of the emergency call -- enhanced 911 service -- as well as similar liability relief for those taking the calls.

The Senate passed the bill last week, and House passage had been predicted given that the bill is about ensuring that emergency phone calls are directed to operators who can actually provide assistance.

The Federal Communications Commission paved the way for e911 service in 2005 with mandates that voice-over-Internet-protocol providers deliver 911 service that linked to local operators after hearing from a parade of witnesses who talked of children dying and family members put at risk after calls to VoIP e911 services that did not do so.