Thursday, August 25, 2005

FCC Grants 30-Day Extension on VoIP E911 Order

The FCC has granted VoIP service providers an additional 30 days -- until September 28, 2005 -- before it begins enforcing the requirement that VoIP providers obtain affirmative acknowledgements from 100% of their subscribers that they have read and understood an advisory concerning the limitations of their E911 service. To be eligible for this extension, VoIP service providers must have filed a report on or before August 10, 2005 regarding steps taken toward compliance.

On July 26, 2005, the FCC released a Public Notice stating that it would delay, until August 30, 2005, any enforcement action against any provider of interconnected VoIP service regarding the affirmative acknowledgement requirement if the provider filed a report by August 10, 2005, detailing its progress toward satisfying the customer advisory, affirmative acknowledgement, and sticker requirements. The Bureau further stated its expectation that interconnected VoIP providers would disconnect, by August 30, 2005, all subscribers from whom it had not received affirmative acknowledgements. The 30-day extension has allowed interconnected VoIP providers to continue to obtain affirmative acknowledgements from subscribers and minimize the number subject to potential disconnection.

The FCC said it has reviewed numerous reports filed by VoIP providers on August 10. The reports demonstrate the significant efforts made by providers in complying with the 100% affirmative acknowledgement requirement. As a result of its review of these reports, the Bureau has determined that it will not initiate enforcement action, until September 28, 2005, regarding the affirmative acknowledgement requirement against those providers that: (1) previously filed reports on or before August 10, 2005 in accordance with the July 26 Public Notice; and (2) file two separate updated reports with the FCC by September 1, 2005 and September 22, 2005.

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