State Issues Consumer Alert on Internet Phones

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There's a new way to make phone calls that can save you money, but safety could be a problem.

The State of Michigan has issued a consumer alert warning people about Internet-based telephone services, commonly called VoIP.

VoIP uses Internet Broadband instead of a regular analog phone line. It's cheaper and offers numerous features that analog doesn't.

However, emergency responders warn that often times VoIP providers don't offer traditional 911 access because they're not federally regulated. If they do, it's limited. Sometimes it requires the consumer to register online.

State officials say the best way to protect yourself is to shop around before switching to VoIP, and don't be afraid to ask questions.

There are an estimated dozen providers in Michigan.