SIMNET's Cloud Communications Platform

Important VoIP 911 Information

VoIP services allow you 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 you acknowledge and agree that differences exist between traditional telephone service and VoIP telephone services, including the lack of traditional 9-1-1 emergency services.

Because of the unique nature of VoIP telephone calls, emergency calls to 9-1-1 through your 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 you hereby acknowledge and understand the differences between traditional 9-1-1 service and VoIP calls with respect to 9-1-1 calls placed to emergency services from your account as described below.

When you make a 9-1-1 emergency call, the VoIP service will attempt to automatically route your 9-1-1 call through a third-party service provider to the Public Safety Answering Point (“PSAP”) corresponding to your address of record on your account. However, due to the limitations of the VoIP telephone services, your 9-1-1 call may be routed to a different location than that which would be used for traditional 9-1-1 dialing.

For example, your call may be forwarded to a third-party specialized call centre that handles emergency calls. This call centre is different from the PSAP that would answer a traditional 9-1-1 call which has automatically generated your address information, and consequently, you may be required to provide your name, address, and telephone number to the call centre.

The VoIP service will attempt to automatically provide the PSAP dispatcher or emergency service operator with the name, address and telephone number associated with your account. However, for technical reasons, the dispatcher receiving the call may not be able to capture or retain your name, phone number or physical location. Therefore, when making a 9-1-1 emergency call, you must immediately inform the dispatcher of your location (or the location of the emergency, if different). If you are unable to speak, the dispatcher may not be able to locate you if your location information is not up to date.

You are responsible for providing, maintaining, and updating correct contact information (including name, residential address and telephone number) with your account. If you do not correctly identify the actual location where you are located, or if your account information has recently changed or has otherwise not been updated, 9-1-1 calls may be misdirected to an incorrect emergency response site.

You must not disconnect the 9-1-1 emergency call until told to do so by the dispatcher, as the dispatcher may not have your number or contact information. If you are inadvertently disconnected, you must call back immediately.

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.

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 your service access device - if your system access equipment fails or is not configured correctly, or if your VoIP service is not functioning correctly for any reason, including power outages, VoIP service outage, suspension or disconnection of your service due to billing issues, network or Internet congestion, or network or Internet outage in the event of a power, network or Internet outage; you 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 you move your system access equipment to a location other than that described in your account information or otherwise on record with SIMNET.

If you are not comfortable with the limitations of 9-1-1 emergency calls, SIMNET recommends that you terminate the VoIP services or consider an alternate means for accessing traditional 9-1-1 emergency services.

You are responsible for notifying, and you agree to notify, any user or potential users of your VoIP services of the nature and limitations of 9-1-1 emergency calls on the VoIP services as described herein.

SIMNET VoIP service customers are advised to review this section with respect to SIMNET’s 9-1-1 limitations of liability and to provide access to this information to end-users:

SIMNET does not have any control whether, or the manner in which, calls using VoIP 9-1-1 dialing are answered or addressed by any emergency call or response centre. SIMNET disclaims all responsibility for the ability of the equipment to connect to an emergency response centre, the conduct of the emergency response centre and the public safety answering point. SIMNET relies on third parties to assist in routing 9-1-1 calls to emergency response centres and a public safety answering point. SIMNET disclaims any and all liability or responsibility in the event that data used by such third party to route the call is incorrect or yields an erroneous result. SIMNET does not have any control of the Internet connection. Neither SIMNET, its officers nor its employees may be held liable for any claim, damage or loss and SIMNET VoIP service customer hereby waives any and all such claims or causes of action, arising from or relating to SIMNET’s VoIP 9-1-1 dialing service. SIMNET VoIP service customer shall defend, indemnify and hold harmless, SIMNT, its officers, directors, employees, affiliates, agents and assigns, and any other service provider who furnishes services to SIMNET VoIP service customer in connection with the equipment or SIMNET VoIP service, from any and all claims, losses, damages, fines, penalties, costs and expenses (including, without limitation, counsel fees), including claims based in negligence, gross negligence, willful misconduct or recklessness, by or on behalf of SIMNET VoIP service customer, any end-user or any other third party relating to the absence, failure, or outage of the equipment, including VoIP 9-1-1 dialing, incorrectly routed VoIP 9-1-1 calls, incorrectly entered end-user address information, and/or the inability of any end-user to be able to use VoIP 9-1-1 dialing, or access emergency service personnel. If SIMNET VoIP service customer or its end-users are not comfortable with the limitations on VoIP 9-1-1 dialing, SIMNET VoIP service customer and end-users should have an alternate means of accessing traditional 9-1-1 services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Determining your location:

Due to the portability of VoIP service, SIMNET cannot know your current location unless you keep us advised of changes at all times. SIMNET relies on the address you provide at the time you subscribed or updated subsequently by logging in to your account. This is important to bear in mind. Wrong or outdated information may mean a delay in response time.

If you move to another location, you must register your new location via your online account. If you do not register your new location, calls you make to the 911 Service may be sent to an emergency center near your old address.

Dispatching help:

When you dial 911 using the VoIP Service, your telephone number and registered address are automatically sent to a specialized emergency call-answer centre where the call is routed. The operator responding to your call will ask you to confirm the location of the incident, which will be used to select the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) nearest to the incident. After verifying this location, the operator will route your call to an appropriate PSAP (i.e. the 911 emergency services center) where you will be asked about the particulars of your emergency so that the appropriate emergency services (police, fire department, paramedics, etc.) can be contacted for dispatch to the incident location

It is important to note that VoIP 911 stops working while traditional telephone 911 continues to work in situations where your Internet is out of service. These situations include power outages and malfunction of equipment such as your Cable/DSL modem, router or Telephone Adapter.

With traditional phone services, your 9-1-1 call is sent directly to the nearest emergency response centre. With VoIP phone service, your 9-1-1 call is forwarded to a third-party service provider that will automatically or manually route your call to the emergency response centre.

Power Outage Stops Working Continues Working
Internet Out Of Service Stops Working Continues Working
Does the 911 call center know your location? Likely. However the emergency call center operator will ask you to confirm your location Yes, always.
Upon arriving at a new location will 911 work? Yes. However you should update your address in our database and receive a confirmation. This ensures that the call center operator does not see the wrong address when you call. Not applicable, as you cannot take a traditional telephone line with you when you travel.

While the traditional telephone 911 dispatcher always knows the caller’s location, the VoIP 911 dispatched is likely to know it, provided you have maintained your location information up to date. However, in conformance with CRTC regulation, the emergency call center operator will ask you to confirm your location.

Because you can move your VoIP phone between locations and because, for technical reasons, the emergency operator may not have your name, location or contact information available, you must immediately inform the emergency operator of your location and contact particulars any time you call 9-1-1. Do not risk sending police or ambulance services to the wrong location.

Yes, if you updated your address and received a confirmation. If not, login to your account and update your address without delay.

VoIP phone service depends not only on your continued subscription (and payment) for the service, but also on Internet connectivity and power to function. In the event of power, network, or Internet outages (including congestion), or if your service is disconnected or suspended due to non-payment, you may experience a failure, disruption or delay in your 9-1-1 service. We recommend that you keep an alternative phone service (such as a cellular telephone) handy to increase the reliability of your access to emergency services during any service interruption.

If you are inadvertently disconnected, call back immediately. Until you are told to do so by an emergency dispatcher, do not disconnect your 9-1-1 call.

When customers call SIMNET to request activation of their VoIP service, SIMNET’s representative will notify them of the documents in the starter kit and how the VoIP emergency 9-1-1 services differ from traditional 9-1-1 services. Once their VoIP service is ready to be activated, customers will, through the Internet, log onto their account management site to activate their 9-1-1 service. As part of the activation process, text similar to the printed 9-1-1 documents will be presented to the customers and the customers will be presented with the following in English/French (as appropriate) and their selections will be captured.

No. You do not need to do this. When you activate the service or subsequently update your address particulars, you will receive a confirmation email from SIMNET informing you that your 911 Service is active and functioning.
Note that calling 911 when there is no emergency may be a punishable offence in some provinces and states. If you have called 911 by mistake, immediately inform the operator that there is NO emergency.

VoIP 9-1-1 Warning Sticker

Inside the starter kit, SIMNET will include telephone set warning stickers that are required for every VoIP phone. They look like the following image:

For more stickers, you may contact SIMNET Support to order more from us, use the image provided via www.simnet.ca/voip/911stickers to order your own. The size of the stickers are 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches.


Placing Of Telephone Stickers

It is important that all VoIP phones have a 9-1-1 warning sticker. Please ensure to place the sticker in an easily visible location on the phone. We suggest either the inside or outside of the phone receiver, as shown in the diagram below. Do not cover the display screen, speaker or buttons with the sticker.

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