Thursday, November 17, 2022

FCC updates 911 rules

The FCC updated its rules to promote public safety by ensuring that 911 call centers receive timely and useful notifications of network disruptions that affect 911 service. 

These notifications will help 911 call centers maintain emergency services and inform the public when to use alternatives to call 911.

One of the ways the Commission oversees the integrity of 911 communications infrastructure is by requiring service providers to report network outages to both the Commission and 911 call centers. At present, the Commission has different outage notification rules for providers that serve 911 call centers (covered 911 service providers) and the wireless, wireline, and VoIP providers that individuals use to call 911 (originating service providers). The Commission today improved the framework for reporting network outages that potentially affect 911 service and harmonized requirements, including the means, timing, and frequency of providing notification. The updated rules will standardize the type of information conveyed in the notifications and ensure that it is clear and actionable, regardless of where in the call processing network an outage occurs.

The updated rules also require service providers to maintain up-to-date contact information for the 911 call centers they serve. In addition, the Commission retained its current requirement that covered 911 service providers file annual 911 reliability certifications, which will help the Commission promote the continuity of 911 service during the transition to Next Generation 911.