What is the Consolidated Appropriations Act and how does it affect business infrastructure in America? That is an important question these days as there is more awareness around compliance with this law. Simply put this bill passed by Congress references the requirement of a dispatchable location conveyed with a 911 call for Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS) in Section 506(a) of Ray Baum’s Act. At the Federal level the FCC adopted rules in August of 2019 to implement both Kari’s Law and Section 506 of the aforementioned Ray Baum’s Act. Kari’s Law act of 2017 mandates direct access to 911 without dialing any prefix, postfix, or trunk access code. The law also requires organizations to notify a central location such as on-site security, or the office lobby, when a 911 call is made.
Well, everyone should. Not just the departments most directly responsible for supporting an E911 service like Telecom and IT, but also finance, legal, HR, Security and of course the individual users who may be caught in an emergency situation when connected to a company network. This includes those in state and local governments, healthcare, Financials, education, and retail industries among others. The Fed has a renewed focus on holding businesses accountable and liable for the accuracy of outgoing 911 calls. Whether you have a large single location, distributed UC Networks across multiple jurisdictions, multiple telco vendors, or are transitioning from PRI to SIP in any state with E911 legislation this is definitely something to consider.
These rules are all applicable to any MLTS that is manufactured, imported, offered for first sale or lease, first sold or leased, or installed after February 16th 2020. Therefore, ensuring compliance has garnered increased visibility from multiple departments at every business. With many workforces working remotely these days and technology advancing rapidly managing the E911 regulations can be a challenge. All businesses must ensure outgoing 911 calls are properly routed for an increasingly geographically dispersed workforce across multiple devices, in various environments. Understanding the risks is paramount. Having someone who can address these overall concerns with a complete end-to-end Safety Services solutions suite is important for obtaining and maintaining compliance.
What to look for in a partner to implement and support your E911 strategy
Most importantly you want an expert with a significant amount of experience not just in Safety Services, but also in all of the other areas of your infrastructure this touches. Not only the E911 legislation as it pertains to telecom systems, but the Unified Communications approach required to keep everyone connected and safe along with the key environments this all operates in. Integrations with various UCaaS platforms such as Microsoft Teams and connectivity with a large number of PSAP’s (Public Safety Answering Points) is an important consideration as well to ensure redundancy in an emergency. You also need the ability to administer such a system to easily add users or locations as your business evolves.
The actual technology behind this is important too. Uptime is imperative and requires an integrated approach including both a hardware appliance and cloud based call routing. Everything must work with your existing infrastructure such as your PBX, SIP trunks, the PSTN, IP and UC environments. With this new legislation notifying multiple parties in a secure way must be automated which is why there needs to be options for doing so built in. You also need technologies that make provisioning easier as your company continues to grow and evolve.
It needed its own section. The fact is there’s been a great shift to obtaining medical assistance via mobile device remotely for non-life threatening emergencies due to the pandemic and other factors. But… what if the patient has a life threatening emergency while connected to the Telehealth provider? The ability to immediately engage first responders when seconds counts becomes paramount in this scenario. Having an E911 solution directly integrated into the platform would allow the physician to get help instantly with the touch of a button. This is something we can help with by creating a unified platform with this capability.
As you can see there is a lot to navigate between compliance and technology so having a partner to provide a consultative approach is extremely important. Keeping everyone connected and safe has become paramount as companies move towards a more remote, geographically dispersed workforce. Provide insight on 8 questions that pertain to your environment and goals so we can start the process of customizing a Safety Services strategy with you.