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LAPD Outages Have Some Thinking VoIP

May 30, 2017

Back in February, something that could have been disastrous struck the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in the San Fernando Valley. Several of that area's police stations lost non-emergency telephone service, and it was enough to get Los Angeles officials to start the process toward freeing up cash to upgrade said systems. This week, it was announced that some are even beginning to look at Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service as a means to make the upgrades happen.


Right now, the latest budget from Los Angeles includes a hefty $648,000 to take out the landline phones that stopped working at these various police stations, and instead provide a complete overhaul to VoIP service. Said VoIP will be installed at the Devonshire, Foothill, Granada Hills and Van Nuys police stations, in a bid to take back the flow of non-emergency calls being currently routed to either 311 services or to a recorded message.

Van Nuys is expected to be the first to get such systems in place, with reports of “walk-throughs” already taking place therein.  However, this is only expected to be the start of such operations, as 13 different police stations are expected to get upgrades.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander called the interruptions “unacceptable” and further noted that the outages “...highlighted the need to replace an antiquated system with updated technology appropriate for current needs.”

What's more, this upgrade may be more necessary than anyone expected. Reports note that the city's phone system will be shutting down its landline operations altogether by 2020, amid growing reports of outages altogether. The average number is now up to 922 per month, and total outages are up 12 percent just in the last year.

VoIP service here could go quite a way toward helping to provide new value for Los Angeles connectivity. Many VoIP providers include an array of services not ordinarily used on landline systems, or at the very least offered in the most premium packages. VoIP can work on a more reliable service, and potentially even over a wireless version, which might work to provide extra reliability during storms, power outages or similar issues.  




Edited by Alicia Young

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