NTCA Seeks Temporary Waiver for Indoor 911 Certification

June 2, 2017–NTCA has filed a petition for a temporary waiver of today’s deadline for wireless carriers to file certifications of compliance with the FCC’s initial indoor 911 location accuracy benchmark. In its petition in PS docket 07-114, NTCA noted that nine small, rural wireless carriers had filed as of yesterday “nearly identical” petitions seeking temporary waivers of the compliance certification requirement, which the group said shows that the issues they raise “have applicability beyond the specific petitioners.”

“The Commission should therefore grant the pending petitions as soon as possible, and in the wake of such an order, adopt a broader industry waiver wherein any small, rural wireless carrier is not required to procure and implement new location accuracy technology until a reasonable time after the PSAPs within its service territory can receive and/or use indoor location accuracy data and Phase II Enhanced 911 (‘E911’) data, and present the wireless operator with valid service requests,” NTCA argued.

“The nine requests for waiver filed by the time of this writing by small, rural wireless operators arise out of a substantially similar fact pattern — that the PSAPs within their service territories have not yet requested that the operator provide them with Phase II E911 service, or deliver Phase II location or indoor location data,” NTCA noted. “However, unfortunately, while compliance with the Commission’s prior E911 requirements is triggered by a valid PSAP request for service, the Commission’s indoor location accuracy rules operate independently of a PSAP request. Thus, as currently constituted, even in the absence of a PSAP request for or capability or desire to receive such service, the impending June 2 deadline imposes a substantial burden on small, rural wireless operators, resulting in a meaningless waste of scarce resources without furthering any public interest benefit[.]”

NTCA has filed a petition for a temporary waiver of today’s deadline for wireless carriers to file certifications of compliance with the FCC’s initial indoor 911 location accuracy benchmark.

Meanwhile, at least four additional indoor 911 waiver requests were posted in the FCC’s electronic comment filing system today. Separate petitions for declaratory ruling or, alternatively, petitions for temporary waiver were filed by Wilkes Cellular, Inc., and Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company, saying the small carriers had not received any requests from public safety answering points to provide E911 services. Blanca Telephone Co. submitted a request for extension of time or, alternatively, a request for temporary rule waivers, saying it had ceased providing service over two cellular stations.

Also, Iowa Wireless Services LLC filed a joint petition for temporary waiver on behalf of itself and brand partners and other companies. “The companies have previously met the FCC’s accuracy requirements, but they are unable to verify indoor accuracy requirements due to the different technologies used by the Iowa Wireless Companies and the E911 test bed,” the filing said. “The companies have decided to migrate their entire network from a network-based to a handset-based solution in order to ensure that they will be able to meet the FCC’s accuracy requirements. However, as small providers of wireless telecommunications services operating in rural Iowa, Illinois, and South Dakota, the Iowa Wireless Companies face severe logistical burdens in acquiring and deploying the technology and systems necessary to ensure that they meet the FCC’s accuracy requirements across their rural networks. Accordingly they request a limited waiver until September 30, 2017, to meet the FCC’s accuracy requirements.”

“The initial benchmark requires CMRS providers to provide, as of April 3, 2017, dispatchable location or x/y location (latitude and longitude) within 50 meters for 40 percent of all wireless 911 calls,” the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau pointed out in a public notice issued in March. —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily