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February 16, 2005

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APCO Clarifies VoIP Concerns

APCO International Responds to VON Coalition Letter to the President

Washington, DC - The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International sent a letter yesterday to President George W. Bush outlining public safety's concerns with the rapid deployment of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in response to the Jan. 10 letter from the Voice Over the Net (VON) Coalition.

Among other concerns, the letter noted that the public is not always aware of the differences between VoIP telephony and traditional telephony, noting the recent Houston, Texas case when a young lady was unable to dial 9-1-1 from her VoIP phone.

"The public has an expectation that telephone services will provide 9-1-1 and Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) capability, regardless of whether the telephone operates on the public switched telephone network (PSTN), wireless networks, or the Internet," APCO International President Greg Ballentine stated in the letter. "Yet, at present, there is a very real likelihood that a 9-1-1 call from a VoIP telephone will be lost, delayed, or misrouted."

The full text of the letter can be found at www.apcointl.org/about/gov/PDF/VoIPLetter021505.pdf.

About APCO International
The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International, Inc. is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. APCO serves the professional needs of its 17,000 members worldwide by creating a platform for setting professional standards, addressing professional issues and providing education, products and services for people who manage, operate, maintain and supply the communications systems used by police, fire and emergency medical dispatch agencies throughout the world. For more information, visit www.apcointl.org.