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VOIP services

E-911 Proving Essential

While MSOs have provided E-911 support out of the gate, VOIP players like Vonage Holdings Corp. (NYSE: VG) added the capability only after being threatened by the feds. eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY)'s Skype Ltd. service still does not offer E-911, a policy that threatens public safety in an unexpected way.

E-911 is of course indispensable for reporting emergencies. Now, it is also proving to be a valuable investigation and apprehension tool for law enforcement.

The Associated Press reported recently from Largo, Fla.:

A 38-year-old man was arrested after he called 911 and told a dispatcher he was surrounded by police officers and needed help…

"Our officers were standing there scratching their heads. He called, standing there in their presence," Largo Sgt. Melanie Holley said.


That was an expensive call. For crying wolf, the fella was charged with misdemeanor misuse of 911, which carries maximum penalties of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Cable's early investment in E-911 is once again vindicated.

— Michael Harris, Chief Analyst, Cable Digital News

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