phone fun, was GeoIP database issues and the real world consequences

Jean-Francois Mezei jfmezei_nanog at
Thu Apr 14 20:27:48 UTC 2016

On 2016-04-14 16:14, Larry Sheldon wrote:

> Quick question:  What happens (in the purely hypothetical case, I 
> sincerely hope) if the building is on fire and it turns out that the 
> VOIP-phone is the only one that works?


Not purely theoretical situation.  911 where I live would take about 10
minutes of repeating my address and spelling it out to different people
as I got passed around until I finally got to fire dept where I could
finally and one last time spell out address.  (I live on Fairwood, there
is a street near here Sherwood). My ISP geolocates to a different down
in south shore of montreal).

What I do now:

I have the actual telephone number for the fire station 3 blocks from
where I live. When appt building alarm rings (we're not directly
connected), I call the actual dept "have you received a call for
<address>, we're on fire". They say "no, we haven't". I say "expect one
in about 10 minutes once I get through the 911 bozos". When you call
911, you first have to select from a gazillion languages.

Cell phone:

Got hit by hit and run, but managed to stay on my bike. Arm hurt like
hell. Was mad as hell. Made mistake of calling 911 who refused to pass
me to Sureté du Québec police (rural area). I was hoping they had a car
that was in area and could intercept that white car as it intersected
with main road a few km down the road. 911 insisted they send an
ambulance, that I was in shock etc etc.

They asked me to spell out the street I was on. Told them I had to get
to the next intersection with a country rd to see the spelling.
(meanwhile, they insist I don't move because they want to send
ambulance, not believing I was still on my bike rolling at low speed).

At no point did they give me ANY indication they had my location from
towers or my iphone.

When I finally go through to the SQ, we arranged to meet at intersection
with main road. They saw my bruised arm, and saw I was quite
mad/nervous/in shock. They told me to bypass 911 alltogether and call
*4141 to get them right away and that they have the same tools to locate
a call.

((in hindsight, drunk young guys accelerated to high speed and passed
right next to me and threw something at me which it my arm at high
speed. Initially though I had hit their mirror but mirror t low to have
hit near shoulder).

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