FCC Proposes Rules for Direct 911 Dialing by MLTS

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

House Passes Alerting Bill

The House yesterday passed by voice vote the Ashanti Alert Act of 2018 (HR 5075), which was introduced by Rep. Scott Taylor (R., Va.) and would require the attorney general to, if funding is available, “establish a national communications network, to be known as the Ashanti Alert communications network, within the Department of Justice to provide assistance to regional and local search efforts for missing adults through the initiation, facilitation, and promotion of local elements of the network (referred to in this Act as ‘Ashanti Alert plans’), in coordination with States, units of local government, law enforcement agencies, and other concerned entities with expertise in providing services to adults.” When possible, the Ashanti Alert network should operate in coordination with the AMBER Alert network.

Courtesy TRDaily


House Passes Secure CBP Communications Bill

The House yesterday passed by voice vote the Secure Border Communications Act (HR 6742), which was introduced by Rep. Brian J. Mast (R., Fla.) and directs the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents have secure, interoperable radios or other two-way communications devices. The bill also requires DHS to ensure that devices are available to connect to commercial providers when doing so would enhance operations and be cost effective.

Courtesy TRDaily

LMCC Praises FCC Enforcement Advisory on VHF/UHF Radios

The Land Mobile Communications Council today welcomed an enforcement advisory released by the FCC this week related to VHF/UHF radios that fail to comply with the FCC’s rules (TR Daily, Sept. 24). LMCC noted that it has worked to raise awareness of the distribution of illegal devices that can cause interference to federal, public safety, and business/industrial licensees.  “The members of the LMCC, which all have a stake in protecting the authorized use of spectrum, applaud the action taken by the FCC in this matter,” said LMCC President David Smith. “As the Advisory makes clear, violating these rules can result in substantial monetary fines. Anyone importing, advertising or selling noncompliant devices should cease doing so. Anyone owning such devices should stop using them. The LMCC encourages the Enforcement Bureau to follow this Advisory with swift enforcement of those who continue to violate these established rules.”

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC WTB Will Host Environmental Compliance and Historic Preservation Review Procedures

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will host its annual training workshop on the environmental compliance and historic preservation review process required for the construction of wireless communications facilities.  The workshop will be held on Thursday, October 11, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EDT, and Friday, October 12, 2018 from 9:00 AM to 1:00 p.m. EDT in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC. It will be webcast with open captioning at www.fcc.gov/live.

At the workshop, FCC experts on the environmental review process and other speakers will provide information to FCC licensees, those who construct or manage communications facilities for FCC licensees, and their consultants on a range of topics related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the FCC’s implementing regulations and related agreements.  The second day of the workshop will address public safety-related issues, including compliance, FirstNet, and siting in floodplains, and other matters.  For additional information, please see the attached public notice.

FCC to Host Real Time Text Educations Days for PSAPS

The Bureau will co-host a workshop to inform public safety answering points (PSAPs) on real-time text (RTT). The PSAP RTT Education Day will take place on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT, at the FCC’s headquarters, Room TW-C305 (Commission Meeting Room), 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.  The PSAP RTT Education Day will provide information to PSAPs and other emergency communications systems about RTT features and benefits for emergency response personnel and consumers (including consumers with disabilities); best practices for processing RTT requests from service providers; and ways to implement the RTT service feature. Among other things, panels will address regulatory policy, PSAPs’ experiences with RTT testing, and RTT infrastructure issues. There will be a live demonstration of the use of RTT and opportunities for interaction by and with the audience.  The event will be webcast with open captioning at www.fcc.gov/live.  For additional information, please see the attached public notice.

From FCC’s Daily Digest, September 24, 2018


Advises retailers and operators that VHF/UHF two-way radios must comply with FCC technical requirements before they may be marketed, imported or operated . by Advisory. (DA No. 18-980). News Media Contact: Will Wiquist at (202) 418-0509, email: Will.Wiquist@fcc.gov. EB. Contact: Jonathan Garvin at (202) 418-1130, email: Jonathan.Garvin@fcc.gov. DA-18-980A1.doc DA-18-980A1.pdf DA-18-980A1.txt

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, September 20, 2018

FirstNet’s First Hurricane. Last week’s Public Safety Advocate discussed storms, wildfires, and other reasons it is so important for as many public safety agencies as possible to be a part of the FirstNet network and ecosystem. This week, weather hit the Carolinas hard with the arrival of hurricane Florence and FirstNet (Built by AT&T) sprang into action. So far, reports coming out of the area via reporters, tweets, and other social media indicate that FirstNet moved in and met the challenges it faced.

According to the FCC storm reports and verified elsewhere, 14 percent of the existing cell sites were out of service while more than 164,000 customers were out of cable, broadband services, and phones. Putting this another way, according to Tower Daily News and as reported by WWAY-TV, 86.4 percent of the cell towers remained in operation serving the public and the public safety community. As of last Sunday, the number of cell sites still down was reduced to 787, as compared to the 1,063 sites that were out of service a few days earlier.

In South Carolina, 98.3 percent of the 4,107 cell sites were operational going into last weekend, and by Sunday the number of sites down in the state had been reduced to 68 or 1.7 percent. On other communications services, the FCC’s latest report shows that 47 TV stations were on the air with only four being down, and 100 FM stations were broadcasting with only 20 off the air. On the AM side of things, 28 AM stations were broadcasting, leaving only three off the air. It is important to realize information about the number of cell sites and other communications facilities are generally furnished by the site owners, station owners, or others with knowledge of the current situation rather than numbers that are generated by the FCC directly.Read the Entire Post Here

Here are the articles I have selected with the help of Discovery Patterns artificial intelligence

NTIA’s Redl Says Spectrum Sharing Is The Future Of 5G

Law360 Sep 19 21:25

Read More

Law360 (September 19, 2018, 7:29 PM EDT) — For National Telecommunications and Information Administration head David Redl, the government’s … Continue reading

Schatz, Murkowski Offer Bill to Fund AMBER Alert Grants

Sens. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) have introduced a bill to reauthorize federal grants to fund implementation of the AMBER Alert system and to expand eligibility to all U.S. territories. AMBER Alerts about missing children are distributed through wireless emergency alerts to cellphones, among other means.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children recently reported that 924 abducted children have been recovered due to Amber Alerts (TR Daily, May 30).

“AMBER Alerts have helped save hundreds of children. There’s no good reason for U.S. territories to be excluded from this system,” Sen. Schatz said.

“[W]e are long overdue in providing all of our territories with access to this essential and effective service,” Sen. Murkowski said.

Under the original grant program established in 2003, only the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were eligible for grant funding.  The legislation proposed by Sens. Schatz and Murkowski would make all five U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — eligible for grants.

Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D., Guam) has introduced a companion bill in the House. —Lynn Stanton, lynn.stanton@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily

2.1% of Cell Sites Not Working in Florence-Affected N.C. Areas

In the 48 areas in North Carolina covered by the FCC’s activation of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for Hurricane Florence, 2.1% of cell sites were out of service as of 11 a.m. today, down from 3.7% yesterday, the FCC reported. It said that all public safety answering points in North Carolina are fully operational.

As for cable and wireline service, the report said that 176,388 subscribers did not have service in North Carolina, down from 270,688 yesterday. Two TV stations reported being out of service. Two FM radio stations reported being down but programming was being sent to another station, while 20 FM radio stations said they were out of service. Two AM radio stations said they were out of service.

Courtesy TRDaily