Here is what you need to know about Nomadic E911.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for implementing and enforcing America’s communications laws and regulations. In August 2019 the FCC implemented rules around Enhanced 911 (E911); covered in Section 506 of the Ray Baum’s Act. This up until now has related to providers of fixed telephony services, with a compliance date of 6 January 2020. Now, further changes are imminent around non-fixed telephony services.
From 6 January 2022, service providers for non-fixed telephony services in North America will need to be Nomadic E911 compliant. Are you ready?
What is the Ray Baum’s Act?
The Ray Baum’s Act applies to MLTS, fixed telephony, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), and mobile text.
The Act in its entirety includes many communications related initiatives. It is Section 506 that is focussed on 911 emergency services for enterprises. It is the Ray Baum’s Act that emphasizes the importance of sharing precise location information.
FCC rules also require that when a 911 call is placed on an MLTS, the system is configured to notify a central location, such as reception or security. This is so help can be deployed to smooth access for emergency responders.
Additionally, in the United States Kari’s law requires multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to route 911 emergency service calls through the phone system automatically. This direct 911 dialing in MLTS, ensures anyone can reach a 911 call center.
Further information can be found here: Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act Oct 2020 (911.gov)
What is Enhanced 911?
During a 911 call every second counts. For emergency services, a dispatchable location is critical. On arriving at a location, such as a campus or an office complex they need details beyond just the street address. They need building, floor number, and room or suite.
Service providers need to provide this dispatchable information. They need to ensure any individual at any location making a 911 call can reach the right public safety answering point (PSAP), so that emergency personnel are dispatched to the correct location.
This is known as Enhanced 911 or E911
What is Nomadic E911?
The rise in remote and hybrid working has prompted a rise in the use of non-fixed telephony, such as VoIP phones and UCaaS solutions such as Microsoft Teams. This presents a challenge when identifying the exact location of a caller making a 911 call.
Nomadic E911 requires service providers to dynamically track the location of users, to ensure their location is up to date in the event of an emergency.
Dispatchable location information on non-fixed telephony will be a requirement as of 6th Jan 2022.
Further information can be found here: 911 and E911 Services | Federal Communications Commission (fcc.gov)
What do you need to know about Nomadic E911?
As with fixed telephony, those that deliver non-fixed telephony will need to provide dispatchable location information. This means that those that deliver non-fixed interconnected VoIP services, mobile text, and telecommunications relay services (TRS) need to strive to deliver automated dispatchable location where technically feasible.
With standard E911 a physical address is set against the VoIP service, which can be updated. Yet the address associated with the number is static. It is not necessarily a representation of live location information. Now with Nomadic E911 non-fixed telephone service providers are required to provide a current dispatchable location. This is achieved using PIDF-LO technology (Presence Information Data Format Location Object). Essentially, 911 calls can be routed according to the location of the Wi-Fi hotspot, rather than a static address that may or may not represent the caller’s actual location. This is known as Dynamic Location Routing (DLR)
These changes to regulation bring non-fixed telephony in line with fixed telephony, meaning, for all services:
- 911 service is a mandatory requirement when providing voice communication access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN)
- Service providers must provide an accurate emergency location with the service
- 911 calls must be routed to the right public safety answering point (PSAP), and include callback number, name, and a dispatchable location
- VoIP providers must notify customers about their 911 calling capabilities
Are you ready for January 6th?
Through our Microsoft Teams direct routing solution, we enable dynamic location information to be passed to your E911 Teams trunk provider, either by service provider routing or ERS routing.