The FCC today unanimously adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to allow for direct dialing to 911 and to provide the location information of callers.
The FCC adopted the NPRM in PS docket 17-239 pursuant to two new laws, the Kari’s Law Act and RAY BAUM’S Act. The Kari’s Law Act, which was enacted in February, is named after Kari Dunn, who was killed by her estranged husband in 2013 in a Texas motel room as her daughter attempted to call for help but couldn’t reach 911 because she didn’t dial “9” first.
Before the FCC adopted the item today, Kari Dunn’s father, Hank Hunt, spoke in favor of it. “Kari’s daughter dialed 911 four times during her mother’s attack. But not one of her calls ever reached 911 because the hotel phone required guests to dial a ‘9’ for an outbound line before dialing 911,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, an early advocate of state and federal adoption of Kari’s Law.
“Now, it’s our turn to act for Kari. In this notice, we propose rules to implement Kari’s Law so that when Americans dial 911 from multi-line telephone systems, which are commonly used in office buildings and hotels as well as on campuses, they can reach emergency services,” Chairman Pai said in a statement.
“But sometimes, being able to reach emergency services isn’t enough. For example, if you’re calling 911 from a large office building, it’s important that first responders know where you are in that building so they can find you,” he continued.
“That’s why we’re also proposing to mandate that 911 calls from MLTS include a dispatchable location and that this requirement take effect at the same time as the compliance date set forth in Kari’s Law. And we are seeking comment on the feasibility of requiring a dispatchable location for 911 calls from other technological platforms, including fixed telephony services, interconnected and other VoIP services, and Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services, pursuant to section 506 of RAY BAUM’s Act,” he said. Continue reading