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New E911 Regulations Taking Effect, Here’s What You Need to Know

 In Blog, VOIP

911 laws and regulations can be complicated and they’re often updated. Fortunately, America’s Phone Guys is here for you. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the new E911 regulations you should know if you utilize VoIP.

What is E911?

First of all, if you’re curious about what E911 is, it stands for Enhanced 911. It’s a service that automatically displays your phone number and physical location to 911 dispatchers so they can send emergency response teams for help.

Back when we just had landlines, distressed callers didn’t need to provide their name and address to a dispatcher because the phones were always connected at a single location. There was a miniscule possibility of the phone caller not being at the address on record. With E911, as long as clients are keeping their phone systems or service provider data updated they won’t need to describe their whereabouts either. This can be vital if they’re in a situation where they’re unable to safely communicate.

New E911 Rules

In August 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted two new pieces of legislation to improve 911 emergency services and response. Those are Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act.

Kari’s Law

Kari’s Law, which took effect on February 16, 2020, requires:

  • Businesses that use multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to allow people to directly dial 9-1-1 without first having to dial a prefix such as 9.
  • It also requires that MLTS automatically notify a designated staff member that a 9-1-1 call has been placed.

Any business or organization that isn’t complying with Kari’s Law faces a $10,000 fine, in addition to a $500 daily fine for every day they’re non-compliant.

RAY BAUM’S Act

In relation to Kari’s Law is RAY BAUM’S Act. This act stands for Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services. It ensures a caller’s location is accurately and completely provided to dispatchers. It applies to fixed MLTS as of January 6, 2020 and it will apply to non-fixed MLTS as of January 6, 2021.

RAY BAUM’S Act requires:

  • Your MLTS provides specific critical information related to a 9-1-1 caller’s “dispatchable location”–which is more than just a building address. This can be floor number, suite number, and even cubicle number.

This specific “dispatchable location” may need to be programmed into your phone equipment, or phone service, depending on which type your company uses. In general, those with PRI’s will need the programming at the carrier level while most others will be done at the system level.

How to Ensure You’re in Compliance

To help ensure your company complies with RAY BAUM’S Act and Kari’s Law, you may need to upgrade hardware or reconfigure your MLTS. You can also contact us at America’s Phone Guys for help. We’re telecommunications experts after all. We’re available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. We have the experience and resources to diagnose and repair any issue you’re experiencing with your system and ensure you’re in compliance with any new laws and regulations that arise.

New E911 Regulations Taking Effect, Here’s What You Need to Know in Portland OR and Vancouver WA

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