Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Citation

58 Federal Communications Law Journal 115 (2006)


The diffusion of VoIP technology promises revolutionary changes to a century old model of voice telephony. Though these changes bring extraordinary opportunities, they also bring challenging policy implications for businesses and regulators. In this Article, the Authors examine the technical difficulties of providing the same quality and dependability of emergency services in VoIP based telephony as consumers have come to expect from PSTN-based telephone networks. Given the technical complexity and heterogeneity of VolP, the Authors propose industry self-regulation through an advanced certification framework as a more effective alternative to direct government regulation. After surveying a number of successful self-regulatory regimes, the Authors conclude that a multitier certification scheme will best meet regulator and consumer expectations of timely and highly intelligible emergency calls that provide the critical information necessary for effective emergency services.