The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) has released a Public Notice seeking comment on issues that may inform its location identification report that is due by April 17, 2021, pursuant to the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 (Suicide Hotline Act). The Suicide Hotline Act designates 988 as the universal telephone number within the U.S. for the purpose of a national suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline system.
The location identification report required by the Suicide Hotline Act requires the Commission to report on: (1) feasibility and costs of including an automatic dispatchable location through a 988 call; (2) any technical issues involved in including location information in a 988 call; (3) timing of an implementation process; and (4) costs and potential risks to consumer privacy. Comments on this Public Notice are due December 21, 2020 and reply comments are January 11, 2021. In addition to public comment, the Bureau will invite members of the FCC’s expert advisory committee and the North American Numbering Council to provide input on these issues.
As part of the Public Notice, the Bureau also clarifies that the implementation date for the designation of 988 as the universal telephone number for national suicide prevention and mental health hotline is October 17, 2021.