Description: VoIP services allow Customer and its users to make or receive telephone calls over the Internet to or from the public switched telephone network. The nature of VoIP telephone calls, while appearing similar to traditional telephone calling services, create unique limitations and circumstances, and Customer acknowledges and agrees that differences exist between traditional telephone service and VoIP telephone services, including the lack of traditional 9-1-1 emergency services.
9-1-1 service: Because of the unique nature of VoIP telephone calls, emergency calls to 9-1-1 through Customer’s VoIP service will be handled differently than traditional phone service. The following provisions describe the differences and limitations of 9-1-1 emergency calls, and Customer hereby acknowledges and understands the differences between traditional 9-1-1 service and VoIP calls with respect to 9-1-1 calls placed to emergency services from Customer’s account as described below.
Placing 9-1-1 calls: When a 9-1-1 emergency call is made, the VoIP service will attempt to automatically route the 9-1-1 call through a third-party service provider to the Public Safety Answering Point (“PSAP”) corresponding to Customer’s address of record on Customer’s account. However, due to the limitations of the VoIP telephone services, the 9-1-1 calls may be routed to a different location than that which would be used for traditional 9-1-1 dialing. For example, the call may be forwarded to a third-party specialized call center that handles emergency calls. This call center is different from the PSAP that would answer a traditional 9-1-1 call which has automatically generated Customer’s address information, and consequently, Customer, an end-user or other person, may be required to provide his or her contact information and location to the call center.
How Customer information is provided: The VoIP service will attempt to automatically provide the PSAP dispatcher or emergency service operator with the location associated with Customer’s account. However, for technical reasons, the dispatcher receiving the call may not be able to capture or retain the physical location. Therefore, when a 9-1-1 emergency call is made, the dispatcher must immediately be informed of the location of the emergency.
Correctness of information: Customers are responsible for providing, maintaining, and updating correct contact information with Customer’s account. If Customer does not correctly identify the actual location where Customer is located, or if Customer’s account information has recently changed or has otherwise not been updated, 9-1-1 calls may be misdirected to an incorrect emergency response site.
Disconnections: A 9-1-1 emergency call must not be disconnected until the dispatcher confirms that he or she has the necessary contact information and emergency location information.
Connection time: For technical reasons, including network congestion, it is possible that a 9-1-1 emergency call will produce a busy signal or will take longer to connect when compared with traditional 9-1-1 calls.
9-1-1 calls may not function: For technical reasons, the functionality of 9-1-1 VoIP emergency calls may cease or be curtailed in various circumstances, including but not limited to:
Failure of service or Customer’s service access device – if Customer’s system access equipment fails or is not configured correctly, or if Customer’s VoIP service is not functioning correctly for any reason, including power outages, VoIP service outage, suspension or disconnection of Customer’s service due to billing issues, network or Internet congestion, or network or Internet outage in the event of a power, network or Internet outage; Customer may need to reset or reconfigure the system access equipment before being able to use the VoIP service, including for 9-1-1 emergency calls; and changing locations – if Customer moves its system access equipment to a location other than that described in its account information or otherwise on record with West Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc.
Alternate services: If Customer is not comfortable with the limitations of 9-1-1 emergency calls, West Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc. recommends that Customer terminate the VoIP services or consider an alternate means for accessing traditional 9-1-1 emergency services.
Inform other users: Customer is responsible for notifying, and Customer agrees to notify, any user or potential users of Customer’s VoIP services of the nature and limitations of 9-1-1 emergency calls on the VoIP services as described herein.
Liability: In addition to the Limitations of Liability set forth in Section 7 of the MSA, IWest Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc. and its service providers disclaim all responsibility for the conduct of Public Safety Answering Points (“PSAPs”) and all other third parties involved in the provision of emergency response services. West Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc. and its service providers do not have any control over PSAPs and are therefore not responsible for whether they answer 9-1-1 calls made using the hosted IP voice services, how they answer these calls, or how they handle these calls. West Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc. and its service providers rely on third parties to assist in the provision of 9-1-1 services, and disclaim any and all liability for acts or omissions by third parties in the provision of 9-1-1 services. Neither West Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc. nor its service providers, officers nor employees may be held liable for any claim, damage, or loss (including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees) by, or on behalf of, Customer or any third-party user of IWest Unified Communications Services Canada, Inc. 9-1-1 dialing capability.