VOIP MagicJack 911 Calls - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 2012-07-18, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ajax
Posts: 983
VOIP MagicJack 911 Calls

Hi. Im not sure if this issue has been addressed on this site, so here goes.

If you are using a VOIP service (such as MagicJack) for your home phone landline service, please be aware that if you have to call 911,


Your call will be answered by your VOIP service (MagicJack, Vonage, etc...) and they will re-route your call to your local 911 Comms Centre. There will be a delay in contacting your 911 Comms Centre.

So for you and your family's safety, make sure you advise your VOIP provider of your current address.


e.g. a housefire recently occurred in the Toronto area. The person's 911 call was redirected to Calgary, because that was the last known location the VOIP service had for that customer.

As an emergency worker myself, I would strongly suggest you NEVER use your VOIP phone to call 911.

Always use your cell phone, because you will be speaking with 911 much quicker, and SECONDS SAVE LIVES!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 2012-07-18, 10:36 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: GTA (Greater Toronto Area) , ON
Posts: 554
As a response message to this, I myself have both a real POTS line from bell and a voip service, I have mine split between 2 lines so if I need to call 911 I would use the land line of course and the voip is for all my other calls. From what I understand bell still offers a basic phone service for fairly cheap. (cant comment on what it is as I am not sure) but for anything thinking the same thing I would suggest having both in a 2 line phone or 2 separate phones perhaps
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 2012-07-18, 10:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 893
Living here in Yellowknife we have never had or needed 911 service. What is the big deal really? If your voip doesn't call your local 911 why not just program your phone speed dials to call fire, police or ambulance on thier normal lines?
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 2012-07-19, 07:44 AM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mississauga
Posts: 7,529
The big deal is that most people are now conditioned to call 911 in an emergency. If you had a visitor in your home, they might not know about your speed dial and dial 911 instead. Also, they recommend you not use speed dial for 911, as it's too easy to dial accidentally. With some VoIP services, you can set a home address. Of course, that doesn't work well if you're using a portable device (computer, smart phone) away from home.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 2012-07-22, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Ajax
Posts: 983
To AFF and everyone else.

I wasn't as clear as I should've been.

The 911 system uses ANI/ALI (Automated Number Identifier / Automated Location Identifier).

When someone calls 911 from a landline, the phone # and the location of that phone pop up on the 911 Operator's Computer Screen.

If the person cannot speak because of an injury, medical condition, etc..., the 911 Operator (in Toronto) will dispatch Police, Fire, and EMS to that location on an Unknown Problem / Check Call.

If someone using a VOIP service has not updated their address info with their VOIP service, the VOIP operator will call the 911 service of the last registered address.

The 911 operator will then send out a response to the wrong address, IN THE WRONG CITY!!!

That is why it's important.

Also, most large Cities Emergeny Services no longer have a regular 10 digit emergency phone #. And this creates a huge problem when the 911 system goes down.

A portion of Toronto lost 911 service last Friday for several hours due to a construction incident.

The only way people could call 911 from the affected area was using a cell phone.
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