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Up VoIP Creek

Have an emergency plan while VoIP providers work on 911 shortcomings.

This story appears in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

VoIP's lack of landline-class emergency services didn't seem that big a deal initially--tall phone-bill savings overshadowed the problem. Then a couple of Vonage customers dialed 911 and didn't get an emergency response.

Within days, state attorneys general had filed consumer-protection lawsuits against Vonage, and Congress introduced new bills to tax VoIP. The FCC told internet phone companies to have landline-grade emergency services by November.

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