Kari's Law Made Easy
Kari's Law Made Easy
We’ve been reviewing the new FCC Report and Order quite a bit, and the most pressing mandates seem to pertain to Kari’s Law. Luckily, it is not so difficult for your company to comply with these newly outlined requirements. In fact, we are here to make compliance as easy as possible for your enterprise. Below, we will explain Kari’s Law and the actions you need to take to fulfill the FCC’s Order.
The history of how Kari’s Law came to be is both a tragedy and triumph. In 2016, Kari Hunt Dunn was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room. Her daughter was present, and attempted to call 9-1-1 four times. However, she was unable to reach help due to the hotel’s phone system requiring guests to dial “9” before any outgoing call.
Kari’s father, Hank Hunt, turned his grief into action, and made it his mission to ensure no one experience the struggle Kari’s daughter faced that day. Hank Hunt succeeded in leading a nationwide movement that resulted in the U.S. House of Representatives passing Kari’s Law with a vote of 408-0, as well as unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate.
Kari’s Law was signed into federal law on February 16, 2018. On August 1, 2019, Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, stated,
“Hank and I were there that day. And Kari’s daughter was there as well, and she had the chance to speak with the President. It was a special event that I will never forget. With the President’s signature, the baton was passed to the FCC. And we began to run with it. Last year, we proposed rules to implement Kari’s Law. And today, we are adopting those rules. In particular, these rules will make it easier for Americans in hotels, office buildings, and campuses to dial 911 and reach the help that they need in an emergency. And they will make it more likely than when such a 911 call is placed, an on-site notification is provided so that an employee can help speed response times when emergency personnel arrives.”
These are the goals Kari’s Law seeks to accomplish, both accessibility to 9-1-1 and an awareness of emergency situations within one’s enterprise. This translates into the “direct dialing” and “notification” requirements outlined in the official Report and Order. Below, we will explain what these requirements entail, and why they matter for your enterprise.
The Official Rulings
The official “direct dialing” requirement pertaining to businesses reads as follows: “...any person engaged in the business of installing, managing, or operating an MLTS may not do so unless the MLTS is configured so that a user may dial 911 directly (Federal Communications Commission. (2019))”.
The official “notification” requirement pertaining to businesses reads as follows: “[any person engaged in the business of installing, managing, or operating” MLTS for use in the United States] shall configure the system to provide a notification to a central location at the facility where the system is installed or to another person or organization regardless of location, if the system is able to be configured to provide the notification without an improvement to the hardware or software of the system (Federal Communications Commission. (2019))”.
Furthermore, “the effective date provision states that Kari’s Law “shall apply with respect to a multi-line telephone system that is manufactured, imported, offered for first sale or lease, first sold or leased, or installed after” February 16, 2020. ((Federal Communications Commission. (2019)).
What Does This Mean For Me?
Essentially, after February 16, 2020, businesses that alter their communication systems in any fashion are also obligated to ensure their communication systems do not hinder a person from dialing 9-1-1 in any way. Additionally, when a person dials 9-1-1 from your enterprise’s communication system, the front desk, security office, or relevant personnel must be informed.
We believe that adequate notification necessitates an awareness of end-point location. A simple notification without the location of the 9-1-1 call is rendered useless when the emergency takes place in a multi-floor building, large campus environment, warehouse, etc. This means that your business’s communication system should be able to provide both notification of a 9-1-1 call, as well as alert someone as to where that call is coming from within your enterprise.
Where Do I Go From Here?
We are here to help your enterprise comply with Kari’s Law. We make compliance easy with our cloud-based E911 solutions. Our technology anticipated Kari’s Law, and our sophisticated notification system not only complies with this new legislation, but keeps your company secure and aware in real-time.
Federal Communications Commission. (2019)Implementing Kari's Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM'S Act, 911 Access, Routing, and Location in Enterprise Communications Systems, Amending the Definition of Interconnected VoIP Service in Section 9.3 of the Commission's Rules. (Report No. FCC-19-76).Retrieved from https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-improves-access-911-and-timely-assistan...
We are not lawyers; these are our opinions. However, we are experts in E911 and this Report and Order falls within the parameters of our expertise.