FCC Seeks Comment on Rules Improving 911 Calls from Multi-Line Telephone Systems

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The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposed rules that help ensure that people who call 911 from multi-line telephone systems (MLTSs), which are typically found in corporate office buildings, hotels, and college and university campuses, can reach 911 and be quickly located by first responders. In February 2018, Congress passed Kari’s Law, which requires MLTSs to enable users to directly dial 911 – – without having to dial any prefix such as a “9” – – to reach an outside telephone line. Specifically, Kari’s Law requires the FCC to adopt rules ensuring 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 precise location in a large building or campus. The proposed rules would apply dispatchable location requirements to MLTSs, fixed telephone service, interconnected VoIP services, and Telecommunications Relay Service. Commercial mobile wireless services already require either dispatchable or coordinate-based location information with 911 calls. Comments are due 45 days after the NPRM’s publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 30 days after that day.

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