[Talk-us] Free emergency calls from payphones (was [Tagging] emergency=*)

Alan Mintz Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.Net
Tue Aug 10 21:53:15 BST 2010

At 2010-08-09 11:59, Paul Johnson wrote:
>On Mon, 09 Aug 2010 11:31:33 +0100, Dave F. wrote:
> > On 08/08/2010 20:07, Paul Johnson wrote:
> >> Emergency phones would be handy, since it's increasingly common in the
> >> US for public pay telephones to disallow... 911 (emergency services).
> >
> > If true, I'm surprised. Which companies are doing this?
>Pacific Northwest Phones (PNWP), TriMet Transit's privately owned
>payphones (truly stupid given that emergency information inside transit
>vehicles advertise 911 as a free call), Qwest, Verizon...really, who
>isn't doing it at this point?

A quick search found this 
. VZ won the appeal in this decision for another reason, but it's clearly a 
legal requirement to provide 911 service in the state of NY:

"In the early 1980s, certain pay phone service providers, known as Customer 
Owned Currency Operated Telephones (COCOT), sometimes programmed their 
phones to block coinless 911 calls. This prompted the State Legislature in 
1990 to enact section 92-c(7) of the Public Service Law, which provides 
that "No . COCOT service provider shall restrict access . to any emergency 
telephone number, including, where available, 911.""

In another doc, this time an appeal by Qwest in the state of WA, I find:

    "WAC 480-120-263[1] became effective on July 1, 2003.   It contains 
requirements for Pay phones Service Providers (PSP) who own or operate or 
provide pay phones services in Washington.  As adopted, WAC 480-120-263 
subsections (3) and (5) read, in pertinent part, as follows:

(3)  Access.  At no charge to the calling party, pay phones must provide 
access to:

               (a) Dial tone;

(b) Emergency services by dialing 911 without the use of a coin or entering 
charge codes;"

In CA, 
, Cal. Pub. Util. 742(a)(2) says:

    "(2) A requirement that every telephone permit a caller to be
connected with the operator personnel of any telephone corporation
authorized by the commission to operate within a service area by
dialing the numeral "0" and with the emergency services switchboard
reached by dialing the numerals "911" without insertion of any coin."

Further searching shows similar provisions in other states, with some 
obvious exceptions, like prisons, mental hospitals, etc.

Alan Mintz <Alan_Mintz+OSM at Earthlink.net>

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