The FCC's August 29 deadline is fast approaching for VoIP providers to absolutely, positively inform their users of the state of their E-911 offerings.
And for those users who fail to inform their providers that -- yes, they understand their VoIP phone may not be able to summon the authorities in quite the same way as their landline -- will soon face a service outage.
Just how many users that will affect is an open question. Vonage and other companies claim they've passed the 80 percent mark, but that leaves a lot of wiggle room.
Will the Vonages of the world feel the sting of these users departing their collective fold?
Doubtful: The idea that there are users out there who have not been reachable by voicemail, email, and snailmail combined somewhat detracts from the notion that they were users in anything but name.
Moreover, those are the users most likely to -- I'll put this delicately -- not fully understand that their VoIP phones are significantly different from plain old telephone service. And therefore likely to make mistakes that, if lawyers get involved, can lead to legal proceedings.
There may be some exceptions. Some users may be taking lengthy excursions in Tibet, or perhaps fighting the war on terror in Iraq.
If so, the loss of service will likely lead to some disappointment. Of course, VoIP providers would no doubt be happy to reconnect them, after signing a few forms.
The Miami Herald has more coverage on this issue here.