Level 3 Communications
announced that 8x8, Inc.
, the Packet8 broadband Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and videophone communications service provider, has selected Level 3 to provide E-911 to Packet8's nomadic and fixed-location customers. Under the terms of the agreement, Level 3 will provide the underlying network for 8x8's E-911 solution using Level 3 E-911 Direct service.
E-911 delivers address-specific and call-back information to Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs) when VoIP users make a 911 call, enabling first responders to be dispatched to the scene even if the caller is unable to speak or if the call is suddenly disconnected. Level 3 E-911 Direct, a portfolio of E-911 solutions, includes a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) compliant solution for nomadic VoIP providers and a fixed-line solution with network connections to PSAPs that serve approximately 69 percent of all United States households.
"We chose to broaden our work with Level 3, because they understand our commitment to consumer safety and have built a sophisticated network that has allowed us to quickly implement an E-911 solution that meets the FCC's requirements for nomadic and fixed-line VoIP," said Bryan Martin, chairman and chief executive officer for 8x8. "We value our relationship with Level 3 and look forward to continuing our combined efforts to provide advanced solutions that will drive VoIP adoption."
Level 3 operates one of the largest Internet backbones in the world with competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) status in all 50 states. This existing infrastructure provides the network foundation upon which Level 3 enables its E-911 solution. As a member of the E-911 Institute and the National Emergency Number Association's Technical Roundtable, Level 3 continues to work to support efforts to combine consumer safety and technology.
"Although the FCC recently amended the requirements for VoIP providers to be E-911 compliant, it is compliance that continues to be an urgent hurdle for the industry to overcome," said Myrle McNeal, senior vice president of Local Voice Services for Level 3. "8x8 is ahead of the curve, and we are glad to be working closely with them to solve the need for E-911. It is crucial for the safety of consumers and the momentum of our industry that VoIP providers accelerate their efforts to comply with FCC regulations around E-911."
In addition to Level 3 E-911 Direct service, Level 3 provides 8x8 with other key building blocks for its VoIP services, including Voice Termination, which provides wholesale termination of voice calls; VoIP Local Inbound, which delivers local phone calls to IP endpoints nationwide; and VoIP Enhanced Local service, which helps providers deliver IP-based local and long-distance communications services.