Public safety groups commended the FCC today for its tentative plan to consider at its Sept. 26 meeting a draft notice of inquiry into call-routing and location information for 911 calls from enterprise communications systems used by hotels, businesses, and other entities (TR Daily, Sept. 7).
The draft 911 NOI in PS docket 17-239 would seek “comment on the provision of 911 by enterprise communications systems [ECS] that serve businesses, hotels, educational institutions, and government entities,” as well as on “the capabilities of these systems to support direct calling to 911, routing to the appropriate 911 call center, and transmission of the caller’s location information, as well as to ensure that the 911 capabilities of these systems keep pace with technological developments and public expectations,” the tentative agenda released yesterday said.
A fact sheet released with the draft version of the ECS 911 NOI ahead of the meeting noted that it would “[a]sk detailed questions about the state of the ECS industry, including ECS equipment, vendors, and services; typical business arrangements for the provision of ECS; the percentage of 911 traffic originating from ECS; and the E911 and Next Generation 911 (NG911) capabilities of ECS.”
It also would seek “information on the costs and benefits of provisioning ECS to support 911 access, routing, and location information, including the expectations that consumers may have when calling 911 from an ECS handset.” And it would ask about “potential ways to improve ECS support of 911 access, routing, and location, including the development and implementation of industry standards and best practices; the adoption of ECS 911 requirements at the state level; and possible regulatory action by the Commission, if needed.”
“NENA is thrilled that the Commission is revisiting this critical issue,” said Trey Forgety, director-government affairs and information security issues for the National Emergency Number Association. “Much has changed in the market for MLTS service, and the NOI recognizes this. MLTS/ECS will benefit tremendously from the deployment of i3-based NG9-1-1 systems, with lower costs of service and improved location capabilities, improved accessibility, and expanded functionality. There is no reason we can’t establish a plan now to transition these systems to a safe and effective state of operation, and we thank Chairman [Ajit] Pai for taking this crucial first step toward doing so.”
“We are glad to see the FCC taking a fresh look at the state of enterprise communications systems,” said Derek Poarch, executive director and chief executive officer of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International. “We look forward to participating in this proceeding and working to ensure ECS supports important capabilities for 9-1-1 such as direct dial and actionable location information.”- Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org