Wednesday, July 30, 2008

VOIP kills babies

OK, a bit inflammatory perhaps, but not far from the truth:

A federal investigation into a 911 call that sent ambulances to a home in Ontario while the family of a dying baby waited in vain three provinces away in Calgary has placed the blame on the Internet telephone company Comwave.

A series of documents, which Comwave fought for the past three months to keep confidential, have been obtained by The Globe and Mail. They say that federal regulators believe the company's call-takers didn't follow proper emergency procedures.

The botched response to the 911 call led to an ambulance being dispatched to the family's former address in Mississauga.

Letters exchanged between Comwave and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission since the incident in April show that the regulator believes the company should be held accountable. However, Comwave disputed those claims yesterday, denying that it broke any federal rules.

Comwave sought to have the documents kept private, saying in a letter to the CRTC that it would "cause material and financial loss" if the information was made public.

My emphasis. No kidding; this doesn't exactly make me want to use VOIP. Not that I was likely to before; I called one of the providers' toll-free number once and was astounded by the poor sound quality. "Ah", I thought, "so that's what VOIP sounds like".

No comments: