After a short delay to finalize its online filing system, the FCC announced in a Public Notice that the filing window for submitting rural broadband experiment applications will open on Thursday, October 23, at 9 a.m. EDT and close on Friday, November 7 at 6 p.m. EST. No filings will be accepted after the filing window is closed. On a recent webinar about the application process, the FCC emphasized that applicants should complete the Form 5610 early in the filing window because the online auction system will identify technical and formatting errors, giving applicants a chance to make modifications to the form, if necessary, prior to the deadline.

JSI asks that all clients who would like our assistance in submitting an application notify us no later than the end of the day on Tuesday, October 21 if you have not already done so.  Contact Cassandra Heyne at 301-459-7590, Lans Chase at 770-569-2105 to let us know if you would like our assistance or if you have any questions regarding the rural broadband experiments.

FCC’s 911 Network Reliability Information Collection Rules Now in Effect

All covered 911 services providers that provide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities must collect and submit specific information about their networks and their efforts to make them more reliable as part of the FCC’s 911 network reliability rules adopted in February. The new rules were enacted to improve the reliability and resiliency of 911 communications networks nationwide in an attempt to cure preventable 911 network failures (see JSI’s Feb. 20 e-Lert). The rules obligate covered 911 service providers to take reasonable measures to provide reliable service with respect to 911 circuit diversity, central office backup power, and diverse network monitoring and to file annual certification that these standards are being met.

“Covered” 911 service providers are defined as all carriers that provide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities, such as call routing, automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification (ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency and/or operate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP.

It is important to note, RLECs that simply route 911 calls from their customers to the 911 system are not affected. Only RLECs that have a PSAP inside their service territory or host the selective router equipment are affected by the rules.

The information collection and certification requirements were recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget and published in the October 15 Federal Register. Initial certification must be submitted to the FCC on February 18, 2015, detailing the service provider’s progress towards meeting the standards of the annual reliability certification. The initial certification must show compliance with standards of the full certification in at least 50 percent of the Covered 911 Service Provider’s Critical 911 Circuits, central offices that directly serve PSAPs, and independently monitored 911 Service Areas. The full certification, which includes reports on tagging critical 911 Circuits, record retention, backup power, network monitoring and outage notifications to PSAPs, must be filed on February 18 each year after the initial certification.

For more information about these new rules or assistance in auditing your networks, please contact Valerie Wimer in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590 or vwimer@jsitel.com.