New FCC Requirements
On August 1st, 2019, the FCC released its report and order regarding E911. In it the FCC has decided to establish minimum rules for all MLTS platforms. That means every single business in the United States is now required to offer the following:
Direct Dialing 9-1-1: via Kari's Law
Every phone that can dial to the public switch network has to be able to dial 9-1-1. That includes all soft phones. Not sure if this applies to your phones? Jerry Eisner, our VP of Public safety has a rule called the Dominoʼs rule:
"If you can dial for pizza from your phone, then you must be able to dial 9-1-1"
Kariʼs Law requires MLTS platforms that are manufactured, imported, offered for first sale or lease, first sold or leased, or installed after February 16, 2020, to enable users to dial 9-1-1 directly, without having to dial a prefix to reach an outside line, and to provide for notification (e.g., to a front desk or security office) when a 911 call is made.
Accurate Dispatchable Locations
All 911 calls must have a dispatchable location. Sec 506 of Ray Baumʼs Act defines "dispatchable location" as:
Street address - 333 N. Michigan Ave.
Floor - 16th flr
Room # or Zone - Room 1612/NE Corner
Does this include softphones?
Yes. Any device that can access the public switch network is expected to meet these requirements.
My company issued stickers to our laptops that say “donʼt dial 9-1-1 from this device”. Does this mean this device doesnʼt need to meet FCC requirements?
Absolutely not. All devices must be able to dial 9-1-1 and be able to provide a dispatchable location. Organizations issuing stickers are operating outside of the law.
We are a small business. Are we exempt?
No. There are no exceptions.
When does this law go into effect?
The FCC recognizes 3 different types of devices and each have their own deadline.
Fixed Phones: Hardphones that are static in an environment. These phones must meet these requirements August 1st, 2020.
Non-Fixed: Softphones or Hardphones that move in the environment. These phones must meet these requirements by August 1st, 2021
Remote: Off-premise 911 calls such as remote workers or people working from home. These phones must meet requirements by August 1st, 2021.