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VoIP is very different to an Analogue phone line as calls can be made to and from the same number from anywhere in the world. This is a fantastic feature, however, can be a little problematic in times of emergency:
With a traditional phone line, you would have one address using that number, which is also connected to the local exchange. This means that, if someone were to call the emergency services, then there is a unique address that can be obtained from that number. With a VoIP line, if the emergency services are called it is harder to ascertain the location of the call as it is made over the internet and can be done from anywhere.
As a result, with every VoIP number, we ask that an Emergency Address be added and assigned to each number, which then registers the address to be used by emergency services in the event of an emergency call.
This is all very helpful, but can still cause problems in situations where multiple users are using the same Caller ID, but from different locations - which user resides at the emergency address given?
Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as assigning an address to the user itself, as we only ever send out the information about the specific call, and all the ‘User bits’ are dealt with within our platform.
In response, we created the Emergency Services Line Identifier, which allows Users to assign a second, ‘hidden’ Caller ID which changes the P-Asserted-Identity Header for your calls. In English, this means that we will send an underlying number which will be used by the Emergency Services to determine the address in the event of an Emergency Call.
If you would like to use the ‘Emergency Services Line Identifier’ you will need to add an Emergency Address in your Dashboard, under VoIP > Config > Addresses, and then assign it to a Number (which would serve as the Number permanently based at that specific address) at VoIP > Numbers. Once that number has an Emergency Address Registered you can then choose the number as your User’s Emergency Services Line Identifier, which will always send out this underlying number, which associates your user with that number address. You’ll then be free to choose whatever Number to Present (Caller ID) that you like, as it will only have an effect on the number your callee sees!