Calling 911 via VoIP
Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make and receive phone calls using an Internet connection. Although such technology offers convenience, it also has some limitations. For instance, unlike a traditional landline telephone, when calling 911 using a VoIP connection:
- There could be a delay in processing your call because it may be routed to an out-of-province call centre before being connected with a 911 centre here in Nova Scotia.
- If you can’t speak to provide information we may not be able to find you because your phone number and address might not be displayed to the call taker.
- Your VoIP service relies on a power source so if your power or Internet service is interrupted, you won’t be able to call 911.
When purchasing a VoIP system, you should ask the service provider specific questions about how 911 calls are handled. Some things you may wish to ask include:
Is enhanced 911 (address location) offered?
If enhanced 911 is not available and the caller is unable to speak or the call is disconnected, the VoIP operator may not have access to your location information to pass along to the 911 call taker.
Are 911 calls made using VoIP first routed to a third-party operator before being connected to a 911 centre in Nova Scotia?
Customers should be aware that the use of a third-party operator may cause a delay in response.
Does the VoIP service provider enlist the service of a language line?
This is important if a family member or someone who would normally be using the phone does not speak English.