How Does 911 Work on Cloud-Based Phones?

If you just switched your business to VoIP from standard landline phones, you might be wondering how the emergency calling capabilities work. With standard landline phones, your location is immediately directed to the 911 operators near you. However, since VoIP operates over your data network, this makes it a bit more complicated. With ComTech Cloud as your commercial VoIP provider, you don’t have anything to worry about. Our commercial phones feature Enhanced 911 (E911), which will make sure that you and your employees are safe and sound in the case of an emergency.

What Is E911?

E911 automatically provides a caller’s callback number to emergency service personnel. Also, once you provide a location, you can easily switch between which phone you want to use (whether office, mobile, or home).

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), VoIP providers must:

  • Provide 911 service as a mandatory feature. Users of VoIP service may not opt out of 911 capabilities.
  • Obtain a customer’s physical address prior to service activation. This address must be able to be easily changed or updated as necessary.
  • Provide a callback number and physical location to local emergency personnel.
  • Disclose any limitations to their 911 capabilities, including warning labels on VoIP equipment. Customers must officially acknowledge that they are aware of these limitations, if any.
  • Ensure that all 911 calls are routed to the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) when emergency personnel are not capable of receiving or processing the call.

If you currently have cloud-based phones at your business, consider these tips for making sure you and your employees are as safe as possible:

  • Provide your office’s physical address to your VoIP provider and make sure that you update it as soon as it changes, if applicable.
  • Acknowledge, understand, and review any 911 limitations of your commercial phones.
  • Inform anyone (family, visitors, etc.) of any limitations that your VoIP service may have, in case of emergency.
  • Be aware that your cloud-based phones may not work in the case of a power outage or loss of internet connection. A backup generator can give you added protection in these cases.
  • Remember that PSAPs are currently unable to receive text messages, photos, or videos.

Learn More About VoIP Features for Your Business in the DC Metro Area

Whether you’ve just made the switch to cloud-based phones or you’re strongly considering it, it’s extremely important to be aware of how these devices work in the case of an emergency. Thankfully, with the white-glove service from ComTech Cloud, you can trust that you’ll be treated with the utmost care. We’re happy to offer in-person trainings on all of the features included with your VoIP service, including E911 and these others:

To learn more about E911 and other features included in your VoIP service, please contact us online or call (866) 467-3937 today! ComTech Cloud serves small businesses to enterprises in the Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia area.