VoIP and Public Safety

Businesses have a responsibility to their employees and their customers. These responsibilities include ensuring that there is a way of contacting emergency services, ensuring that they do no harm to the environment and making sure that everything is conducted in an ethical manner.

The systems that a business uses also need to comply with these guidelines. A company needs to make sure that they are able to contact the emergency services if anything happens. If a fire breaks out on the premises or one of its employees falls extremely ill, then someone needs to be called in order to help.

For a long time, traditional telephones were used in order to call such services. Whether it happened to be an ambulance, the police or the fire brigade, the traditional phone was used. Nowadays, mobile phones of every type will allow free calls to the emergency services whether or not the phone happens to be active.

The Rise of VoIP

A lot of businesses use some form of VoIP in order to communicate with their customers. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, provides companies with a cheaper form of communication. It also provides a wide number of other benefits. Some of these benefits include video conferencing and instant messaging. VoIP can be used on internal networks as well and therefore only the network infrastructure itself can be used in order to communicate throughout the office.

This helps to cut down on a lot of costs, but it can also bring about a number of problems. One of the main problems companies face is the lack of security, which can be daunting. Security for VoIP is on the rise and procedures are getting better. There is no doubt that within the next few years, VoIP security issues will slowly become a thing of the past and there will be a lot more secure protocols put in place in order to keep the network protected.

VoIP, however, is also reliant on electricity. It needs to be powered by something. Unless the company has its own generator, this can be a major issue. Power cuts can end up plunging the entire place into an emergency situation and this is not good, especially if there is an emergency.

Public Safety Concerns

VoIP is still unreliable when it comes to tracking the location of a call. If the emergency services are called, they will need to know where to go. It is usually quite simple when it comes to analog calls. The system will be able to track the caller and get there quickly. This is not always the case with VoIP. All of the information needs to be given by the caller, especially if the caller is using a hosted system. Hosted systems are based on the cloud and this means that the caller could literally be coming from anywhere. As a business owner, it is important to ensure that a proper form of safety is put in place for emergency calls.

As a solution to this, many companies will still keep an analog phone to ensure that if anything does go wrong, it can be sorted out as soon as possible. This is something that will cost more money, but for the sake of  safety, it is important.

VoIP is constantly changing and improving and there is no doubt that within the next few years, better safety protocols will be put in place. This means that emergency services will be able to track down the caller and get there as soon as possible.

VoIP and 9-1-1

Author Michelle Patterson is excited with the new technologies that are threatening to change the way we stay in touch and communicate, particular in business. She works with companies that are introducing these technologies to make understanding them easy for regular people.

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