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FCC PROPOSES ACTION TO HELP THE PUBLIC REACH 911 AND BE LOCATED BY FIRST RESPONDERS

WASHINGTON, September 26, 2018—The Federal Communications Commission today proposed rules to help ensure that people who call 911 from multi-line telephone systems— which commonly serve hotels, office buildings, and campuses—can reach 911 and be quickly located by first responders. Today’s action is intended to implement two recently enacted laws designed to improve emergency calling.

First, the Commission took action to implement Kari’s Law, which requires multi-line telephone systems to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix (such as a “9”) to reach an outside line. Kari’s Law also requires multi-line telephone systems to provide notification, such as to a front desk or security office, when a 911 call is made in order to facilitate building entry by first responders. The Commission proposed rules to provide clarity and specificity to these statutory requirements so that companies can effectively meet their obligations.

Second, RAY BAUM’S Act requires the Commission to consider adopting rules to ensure that “dispatchable location” information, such as the street address, floor level, and room number of a 911 caller, is conveyed with 911 calls, regardless of the technological platform used, so that first responders can be quickly dispatched to the caller’s location. The Commission proposed rules that would apply dispatchable location requirements to multi-line telephone systems, fixed telephone service, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and Telecommunications Relay Service. The Commission noted that mobile wireless services are already required to provide either dispatchable or coordinate-based location information with 911 calls.

In addition, the Commission proposed to consolidate its 911 rules from multiple rule parts into a single rule part, making it easier for stakeholders, such as service providers and emergency management officials, to more easily ascertain 911 requirements.

Action by the Commission September 26, 2018 by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 18- 132). Chairman Pai, Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel approving and issuing separate statements.

PS Docket No. 18-261; PS Docket No. 17-239

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