BALTIMORE — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Board of Directors today adopted a resolution addressing E911 access and enterprise communications systems during its 2017 annual meeting and education conference being held here this week.
It was the only resolution that was advanced by NARUC’s Committee on Telecommunications this week. Two other proposed resolutions — dealing with the federal Lifeline fund — were withdrawn and were not considered by the committee or the board.
The passed resolution aims to ensure that direct dialing for 911 can move forward. The adopted resolution supports federal and state actions to require enterprise communications systems (ECS) manufacturers, installers, and operators “to design and configure ECS to allow direct dialing of 911, route 911 calls to the proper PSAP regardless of the particular location of the extension used to call 911, provide the PSAP with location information specific and accurate enough for first responders to locate the caller, and to support on-site notification.”
The resolution (TC-1), which was sponsored by Commissioner Wendy Moser of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, states that “consistency, uniformity, and ubiquity of service is highly desirable in the dialing of 911” and that “voluntary efforts among ECS manufacturers, installers, and operators are laudable but may leave many 911 callers vulnerable.”
“This resolution helps us support Congress’ efforts and specify that states can provide their own [requirements] … to address specific local implementation,” Commissioner Moser said.
The resolution notes that that individuals calling 911 from an ECS may not know their address or may be unable to verbally describe their location. And calls from ECS are often misrouted to the wrong PSAP, “requiring transferring, significantly delaying emergency response to the incident that prompted the call.”
According to the resolution, any federal action should be mandatory for all ECS manufacturers, installers, and operators, and federal requirements regarding ECS “must not be written or implemented in such a way that it preempts states from imposing additional requirements as they see fit, presuming that such additional requirements do not contradict or conflict with federal requirements.”
The adopted resolution further states that “consistency, uniformity, and ubiquity of service is highly desirable in the dialing of 911.” —Carrie DeLeon, firstname.lastname@example.org