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Re: How relable does the Internet need to be? (Was: Re: Converged Network Threat)

  • From: Daniel Senie
  • Date: Fri Feb 27 18:56:22 2004

At 02:49 PM 2/27/2004, Jeff Shultz wrote:

** Reply to message from Petri Helenius <[email protected]> on Fri, 27 Feb
2004 21:19:48 +0200

> [email protected] wrote:
> >20 years ago, 911 was able to say "unless you're the rare beast with a cell
> >phone, basing it on the physical service address that the copper runs to would
> >probably work alright in 99% of the cases".
> >
> >Let's not make the same mistake again.
> >
> >
> >
> So all IP phones should be outside of buildings and equipped with GPS or
> Galileo receivers?
> Pete

Does anyone actually offer a mobile IP phone service yet? Does anyone
plan to?

With Vonage you have to tell them where you are located so they can set
your 911 service up to the proper 911 center.
You can take your Vonage with you. Some people do this. It's a bad idea to dial 911 on a Vonage setup that you have on the road with you, but the question of mobility certainly can be studied using this service.

With cell phones it's based on the cell it comes into. If some sort of
truly mobile IP based phone comes in, I'd guess that the provider is
going to have to set it up to where the local router (or associated
VOIP device) "listens" to the VOIP traffic for a 911 call, intercepts
it and sends it to the local 911 center - my presumption is that
they'll have to have a router of some sort in the local area to handle
the mobile IP traffic.  The GPS idea isn't a bad one either - since I
think most new cell phones are coming out with this (it's been
mandated, right?) it's a cheap addition and can be used by whatever the
router redirects the call to for a better determination of the call
center if the phone has the info.

The easier solution would probably be for the "mobile IP phone service"
to set it up as a dynamic address thing, where the phone number is
assigned to the MAC address and the system updates a central index of
what IP address is currently serving what phone number. And by whatever
"DHCP" server assigned the address, that would be used to determine the
911 center most appropriate.
Despite best efforts, there will be IP telephones in residences that are tied to corporate phone systems that are far away. If in the heat of the moment someone dials 911 on that phone instead of the "home" wireline phone, the 911 call could well be routed to another city, or even another continent. Remember that phones could be attached to VPNs going far away.

The simple response to this situation is to say "tough luck. Use a wireline phone." Or at least "don't use the corporate phone that's on the VPN." Will these be acceptable to regulators? Will the courts accept the argument in a court case? This isn't going to be a simple issue to settle.