FCC Proposes Changes to 911 Reporting Requirements

The FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on proposed modifications to certifications and outage reporting of Covered 911 Providers (comment date is pending). The rules would affect both the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) reports and the 911 Reliability annual certifications. The FCC believes that the proposed changes would help identify when there is an outage that impacts 911, clarify each entity’s obligation, and track progress towards improved reliability.

You are a Covered 911 Service Provider if you provide 911, E911 or NG911 capabilities, such as call routing, automatic location information, automatic number identification, or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority and/or operate one or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP.

NORS Reporting
Proposed changes to NORS would increase the details Covered 911 Providers must report, to include 1) identification as a Covered 911 Provider via a drop-down menu, and 2) if the reported outage affected any 911 service, and if yes, which 911 special facilities were affected by the outage, whether they were notified and, if so, how they were notified.

JSI reminds clients it is important to be sure you have current contact information for any 911 facility served. Current outage reporting rules require that within 30 minutes of discovering an outage that potentially affects a 911 special facility, you must notify any official who has been designated as your contact(s) for communications outages at that 911 facility and convey all available information that may be useful in mitigating the effects of the outage, as well as a name, telephone number, and email address at which you can be reached for follow-up. This initial notice to the 911 facility contact must be followed with additional information no later than two hours after the initial contact. Note this requirement to directly contact the 911 facility is in addition to the NORS notifications and reports.

Annual 911 Reliability Certifications
Modifications are also proposed to the annual certifications required of Covered 911 Service Providers. First, to determine if a covered carrier has responsibility for providing diverse facilities, the Covered 911 Provider will need to select if they perform the following functions:

  1. 911, E911 or NG911 call routing through a selective router or its functional equivalent;
  2. Automatic location information or automatic number information database lookup capability or its functional equivalent; and
  3. Direct service to a PSAP by one or more central offices it operates, including administrative lines to a PSAP, statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority.

The functions your company provides will determine if you are responsible for providing diverse facilities to the PSAP.

Second, a new text field is proposed for the Covered 911 Service Provider to provide a summary of improvements they have made to the 911 system in the past year. This added field will be optional.

For questions about either current 911 reporting rules or these proposed rules, please contact Valerie Wimer or Marty Kluh at 301-459-7590.