ShoreTel side with Ofcom on 999 Debate as Rivals Oppose Regulation

Yesterday saw news that a lobbying group has been set up to try and influence regulation on IP telephony in Europe. Recently proposed regulations include the idea that all VoIP providers should enable calls to the emergency services. The group, Voice on the Net Coalition Europe, argue that VoIP is a complement to, rather than a replacement for, traditional telephony services.

IP solutions provider ShoreTel disagrees, with Mark Swendsen, Managing Director of EMEA at ShoreTel, believing IP phone systems are a replacement for traditional telephone systems and that they also provide flexible options for emergency services.

“Pure IP phone systems are no longer emerging; they are part of the foundation of today’s communications. ShoreTel has provided flexible 999 options since our inception. Furthermore we are the only vendor to provide – and for free – correct public safety answering point information on any combination of four methods: by site, switch, Caller ID, or IP address range, with multiple emergency number options by site.

VOIP provides a platform to make emergency calling more accurate, not less accurate. Companies are looking for vendors to provide flexible applications in this arena. Our E911/E999 solution, as an example, can bridge emergency calls with security staff so they can listen in on in-building emergency situations, to respond proactively and to assist emergency services as they arrive.”