FCC 911 Requirements

Cady Business Technologies takes the safety of our customers very seriously, and we constantly stay informed as to the latest developments and requirements surrounding 911 and emergency response procedures. This has become especially important as technologies move more toward IP and the Cloud, and users become more and more mobile. As a company we are dedicated to not only meeting the minimum requirements set out in the statutes, but providing capabilities that exceed and enhance them for our customers.

Recently the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to help ensure that people who call 911 from multi-line telephone systems—which commonly serve hotels, office buildings, and campuses—can reach 911 and be quickly located by first responders. The new rules will also improve emergency response for people who call 911 from other calling platforms, including Cloud and Hosted systems. The action taken officially implements two laws enacted last year that are designed to strengthen emergency calling.

First, the Commission took action to implement Kari’s Law, which requires multi-line telephone systems to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix (such as a “9”) to reach an outside line. Kari’s Law also requires multi-line telephone systems to provide notification, such as to a front desk or security office, when a 911 call is made in order to facilitate building entry by first responders. The new rules provide clarity and specificity to these statutory requirements so that companies can effectively meet their legal obligations.

Second, Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act requires the Commission to consider adopting rules to ensure 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 location. The new rules apply dispatchable location requirements to multi-line telephone systems, fixed telephone service, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, Telecommunications Relay Services, and mobile texting services. Mobile wireless services are already required to provide either dispatchable or coordinate-based location information with 911 calls.

The State of Minnesota has required the provisions in “Kari’s Law”, as well as requirements for 911 dispatchable location information in the spirit of section 506 of RAY BAUM’s Act, for several years. All of the systems that Cady Business Technology installs are fully compliant with those Minnesota statutes. Our systems are designed and tested for 911 compliance and users are trained in proper use as part of our initial end user training sessions. In addition, we adhere to best practices suggested by the FCC for informing users of the possible limitations of Voice Over IP service (VoIP) and providing notification labels for our equipment.

Just remember that if you have a VoIP phone that is capable of being used off-site, or at multiple business locations, and you move that phone to a different 911 location, it is your responsibility to let Cady BT know the new address via a phone call to our support line 763 398-8111, or email to support@cadybt.com.

Over the coming months, we will be working with all of our technology partners to make sure that we stay in step with evolving location technologies as well as adhering to the letter and spirit of the new FCC directives.