What is E911?

E911, or Enhanced 911, is a support system for wireless and VoIP phone users who dial 911, the standard number for requesting help in an emergency across supported countries. Since wireless users are often mobile, this enhancement helps the 911 service by allowing the location of the user to be reported to the call receiver.

SignalWire Addresses allows for a collection of addresses in your SignalWire space so that they can be utilized for uses like E911 or phone number locality requirements for certain countries around the world. By default, SignalWire phone numbers purchased through the dashboard don’t support E911. If you'd like to purchase a phone number that provides E911, please contact the SignalWire Support Team by creating a support ticket using the life preserver icon in your account’s dashboard.

You can add an Address to your SignalWire Space in your SignalWire dashboard and add it as an E911 address to a phone number by following these steps:

  1. On the SignalWire dashboard, click on the Phone Numbers Section.
  2. Click on the E911 Tab.
  3. Click the New button
  4. Enter Address details and click on the Confirm Button.
  5. Click on Purchased within the Phone Numbers Section, and click on the name of the phone number.
  6. Then Click on Set E911 Address, pick your address from the dropdown list, and click on Set Address.

You can delete an address from your space at any time. Removing an address will remove it from your project and will no longer show up as an available address to use. However, the address will still be associated with anything it was assigned to. Uses, like E911 and international locality requirements, you used this address for, will continue to use this address.

For more information on Addresses and how to use them programmatically, see the developer documentation.

Testing E911

There is a proper way to test E911 for your SignalWire number. It's best to arrange a test call to 911 services and verify the E911 information pops up on their screen correctly. You can call your local 911 center non-emergency number, and notify them you're testing a VOIP system for the correct display of location information. You should be able to get the non-emergency phone number from local law enforcement or an internet search. All 911 centers have a non-emergency number for testing purposes.

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Direct Quote From 911.gov Website

"How do I place a "test" call to make sure 911 works for me?"

"Test calls confirm that your local 911 service can receive your 911 call and has the correct location information. Test calls can be scheduled by contacting your local 911 call center via its non-emergency phone number. To contact the local 911 center responsible for answering calls from your location, go here and click on the state in which you are located. The person responsible for operating the state’s 911 system will be identified, and they should know who you should talk to at your local 911 call center, to schedule a day and time for test calls."

As stated before, SignalWire phone numbers purchased through the dashboard don’t support E911. If you'd like to purchase a phone number that provides E911, please contact the SignalWire Support Team. Once the number is purchased by working with the SignalWire support team, you can follow these steps to set up E911 and make a test call:

  1. Complete the Set of Instructions from the Previous Section.
  2. Wait about 30 minutes for SignalWire to properly set up E911 on your line.
  3. Do a test call to 933 first, and listen to your E911 info playback. If you hear the automated information, you're ready to do a real test. If you hear an error tone, wait a little longer, then try again.
  4. Call your local police department's non-emergency number. Let them know you're making a VoIP test call to verify location information.
  5. Once you've notified your local emergency center of an incoming test call, make the real call to 911 and verify your address displays correctly with the answering personnel.

Provided all the information displays correctly, your verification process for E911 services is complete. The carriers validate the address. If it passes, you're good to go.


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