9-1-1 Limitations

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VoIP services allow the customers to make or receive telephone calls over the Internet to or from the public switched telephone network. The nature of VoIP telephone calls, while appearing similar to traditional telephone calling services, create unique limitations and circumstances, and the customer acknowledges, understands and agrees that differences exist between traditional telephone service and VoIP telephone services, including the lack of traditional 911 emergency services.

Differences to Traditional Telephone Service

Because of the unique nature of VoIP telephone calls, emergency calls to 911 through Provincial Tel will be handled differently than traditional telephone services. The following provisions describe the differences and limitations of 911 emergency calls, and the Customer hereby acknowledges and understands that the Provincial Tel service is not a traditional telephone service. There are important differences between traditional 911 telephone services and the services provided by Provincial Tel as set out in these Terms and Conditions.

** Customers must review the section below in its entirety. **

Placing 9-1-1 calls

If the customer makes a 911 emergency call, Provincial Tel will attempt to automatically route the customers 9-1-1 call through a third-party service provider to the Public Safety Answering Point (“PSAP”) corresponding to the customers address of record on his or her account. However, due to the limitations of the VoIP telephone services, the customers 9-1-1 call may be routed to a different location than that which would be used for traditional 9-1-1 dialing. For example, the customer’s call may be forwarded to a third-party, specialized call centre that handles emergency calls. This call centre is different from the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) that would answer a traditional 9-1-1 emergency call which has automatically generated the customer’s address information. Consequently, the VoIP customer will be required to provide his or her name, address, and telephone number to the call centre operator.

How your information is provided

Provincial Tel will attempt to automatically provide the PSAP dispatcher or emergency service operator with the name, address and telephone number associated with the customer’s account. However, for technical reasons, the dispatcher receiving the call may not be able to capture or retain the customer’s name, phone number or physical location. Therefore, when making a 9-1-1 emergency call, the customer must be prepared to immediately (confirm and) inform the dispatcher of his or her location and call-back number (or the location of the emergency, if different), since the operator may not have this information. If the customer is unable to speak, the dispatcher may not be able to locate him/her if the customer’s location information is not up to date. Failure to keep information current will result in a Customer not being able to communicate during a 9-1-1 call; and/or the emergency operator may assume that customers are at the last registered address.

Correctness of information

The customer is responsible for providing, maintaining, and updating correct contact information (including name, residential address and telephone number) with his or her account. If the customer does not correctly identify the actual location where he/she is located, or if the customer’s account information has recently changed or has otherwise not been updated, 9-1-1 calls may be misdirected to an incorrect emergency response site. For example, if the Customer changes the address from which he or she uses their PC Phone service, access to 9-1-1 Service will not function properly. Upon moving to a new address, or change of use of PC Phone service, the Customer must immediately notify and advise Provincial Tel by email or by telephone with the most current location information. Failure to advise Provincial Tel of any changes will adversely affect the ability to access 9-1-1 Service.

911 NOTE for Auto Attendant Clients

For Auto Attendant customers with their associated extensions, please note that only the main company number and the main company service address will be on file for 9-1-1, regardless of where the associated extension is located.


During the 9-1-1 call, the customer must not disconnect the 9-1-1 emergency call until told to do so by the dispatcher, as the dispatcher may not have the customer’s number or contact information. If the customer is inadvertently disconnected, he/she must call back immediately. the main company number and the main company service address will be on file for 9-1-1, regardless of where the associated extension is located.

Connection time

For technical reasons, including network congestion, it is possible that a 9-1-1 emergency call will produce a busy signal or will take longer to connect when compared with traditional 9-1-1 calls.

9-1-1 calls may not function

For technical reasons, the functionality of 9-1-1 VoIP emergency calls may cease or be curtailed in various circumstances, including but not limited to:

  • if your service or your system (service) access equipment fails or is not configured correctly;
  • if your VoIP service is not functioning correctly for any reason, including power outages, VoIP service outage, suspension or disconnection of your service due to billing issues, network or Internet congestion,
  • network or Internet outage in the event of a power outage; you may need to reset or reconfigure the system access equipment before being able to use the VoIP service, including for 9-1-1 emergency calls;
  • changing locations – if you move your system access equipment to a location other than that described in the customer’s account information or otherwise on record with Provincial Tel.

Therefore, it is strongly advised that backup power supply be made available, such as a UPS.

Inform other users

The customer must ensure full understanding of the 9-1-1 Service limitations and is responsible for notifying, and agrees to notify, any user or potential users of VoIP services aware of the nature and limitations of 9-1-1 emergency calls on the VoIP services as described herein.


Customers are advised to review this section with respect to Provincial Tel’s limitations of liability.

Last reviewed: Need date