New federal regulatory obligations signed into law on February 16, 2018, enacted the implementation of Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S act to ensure American’s reach 911 service more quickly. The FCC has a podcast, yes the FCC has a podcast, on ‘The Personal Story Behind Kari’s Law‘ to give some insight on the reasoning behind the requirements.
FCC E911 rules
The FCC requires that providers of interconnected VoIP telephone services using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) meet Enhanced 911 (E911) obligations. E911 systems automatically provide emergency service personnel with a 911 caller’s call-back number and, in most cases, location information.
In short, the FCC requires interconnected VoIP providers to:
- Automatically provide 911 service to all customers as a standard, mandatory feature. VoIP providers may not allow customers to “opt-out” of 911 service.
- Obtain a customer’s physical location prior to service activation, and provide one or more easy ways for customers to update the location they have registered with the provider if it changes.
- Transmit all 911 calls, as well as a callback number and the caller’s registered physical location, to the appropriate emergency services call center or local emergency authority.
- Take appropriate action to ensure customers have a clear understanding of the limitations, if any, of their 911 service. Providers must distribute labels warning customers if 911 service may be limited or not available and instruct them to place the labels on or near equipment used with VoIP service.
- Obtain affirmative acknowledgment from all customers that they are aware of and understand the limitations of their 911 service.
- Ensure that a 911 call is routed to the appropriate 911 call center in areas where emergency service providers are not capable of receiving or processing the location information or call back numbers are not automatically transmitted with 911 calls.