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Some internet phone customers may be cut off

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Sci/Tech

Providers of Internet-based phone services may be forced next week to cut off tens of thousands of customers who haven't formally acknowledged that they understand the problems they may encounter dialing 911 in an emergency.

The Federal Communications Commission had set the Monday deadline as an interim safeguard while providers of Internet calling, also known as "VoIP" for Voice over Internet Protocol, rush to comply with an FCC order requiring full emergency 911 capabilities by late November.

Vonage Holdings Corp., the biggest VoIP carrier with more than 800,000 subscribers, told The Associated Press Wednesday that 96 percent of its customer base have responded to the company's notices about 911 risks. But that still means as many as 31,000 accounts would need to be shut off as early as Tuesday.

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