Canadian regulators toughen 911 rules for VoIP providers

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) issued a warning on Wednesday to all Canada-based VoIP providers: If you don't abide by our 911 rules, we'll shut you down.  

Under the new rules, traditional incumbent phone companies such as Bell Canada (NYSE: BCE) must disconnect any wholesale customer that violates VoIP 911 service rules.  

Service providers will have to inform users about a VoIP service's 911 limitations in a power outage and the risk of using "nomadic" VoIP phones that are not linked to any specific customer address. For example, a user who is traveling can plug his or her phone into any available broadband connection in another person's home or hotel.

The CRTC is tightening its E911 rules due to incidents such as one in 2008, when a baby in Calgary died because a local VoIP provider dispatched an ambulance to the wrong address.

For more:
- see this Globe and Mail article
- see the CRTC ruling

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