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UC at Illinois E911
This page provides information on E911 with UC Voice software client, Microsoft Lync.
E911 with UC Voice
Technology Services strongly recommends the use of a traditional landline phone or cell phone when it is necessary to call 911.
E911 stands for Enhanced 911. Unlike standard 911, E911 provides the 911 call center with the caller’s phone number and location. Much like the limitations of E911 with cell phones, it is imperative that UC Voice users are aware of the current limitations of E911 and Lync.
One of the benefits of Lync is that it is portable. UC Voice users can make Lync calls from any location with internet access as long as they also have access to the Microsoft Lync software client and are logged into their account. Needless to say, this benefit can create some serious limitations when it comes to providing proper location information to 911 call centers.
The Internet connection used may not automatically correspond to a specific geographic location; therefore, whoever receives the call may not automatically receive the correct geographical location information. Specifically, 911 calls made over the wireless network on campus may provide less accurate location information.
Accessing emergency services by dialing 911 using UC Voice may be limited in the following ways:
- A 911 call placed using the UC Voice may not connect to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which dispatches emergency personnel to assist a 911 caller.
- A 911 call may ring to the administrative line of the PSAP, which may not be staffed after hours, or by trained 911 operators.
- When making a 911 call, UC Voice may not automatically transmit phone numbers and/or location information to the PSAP.
- UC Voice will only be available while the campus network is available. Thus, UC Voice users should not rely on the University to provide 911 service during times when the network is unavailable, during times of building or campus power outages, or during periods where the service has been announced as unavailable.
- If the University has to remove an infected or compromised computer from the network, then both the phone and 911 services will not be available.
- If a UC Voice user makes a 911 call while connected to a remote access service, such as a VPN or remote desktop service, the location information may not be available or provided to the PSAP.
- An off-campus 911 call placed using the UC Voice may not be routed to the correct PSAP.
- When using UC Voice off-campus, over a wireless network connection, over a VPN, or through a remote desktop service, 911 calls should be made through a traditional landline or cell phone.
Initially the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) did not regulate VoIP service providers with regards to 911. The FCC changed their approach in 2005 and set forth several requirements that all providers of VoIP service – including the University – must follow.
Technology Services is working diligently with UIPD (University of Illinois Police
Dept.), METCAD (Champaign/Urbana Public Safety Answering Point), and a
3rd-Party vendor named "911 Enable" to provide the best possible E911
solution to campus.
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (external link) requires the University to obtain and keep a record of affirmative acknowledgement by every subscriber (UC Voice users), both new and existing, of having received and understood the advisory statement provided on the E911 Acknowledgement (external link) page. It is required that UC Voice users read the advisory statement about E911 and UC and acknowledge that they have read the statement.
Additionally, the CFR requires the University to distribute stickers to its existing subscribers, warning that E911 service may be limited or not available when using Lync. Technology Services strongly recommends the use of a traditional landline phone or cell phone when it is necessary to call 911. is providing Unit Coordinators these E911 warning stickers for distribution to their unit/department UC Voice users. These stickers are to be placed directly on or near all Lync-enabled devices (phone, desktop, laptop). If users need stickers, Technology Services suggests they contact their UC Support Staff, which include IT Professionals and Technology Services Unit Coordinators.