Working remotely? Is your Phone System e911 Compliant

by John Chisca

In August 2019, the FCC adopted rules implementing two federal laws that strengthened the emergency calling systems: Kari’s Law and Section 506 of Ray Baum’s Act. These two changes have gone into compliance two years after the enactment date of the Kari’s Law. If you are not familiar with Kari’s Law, it is a tragic story named in honor of Kari Hunt. In 2013, Kari was killed by her estranged husband in a motel room in Texas. Her 9-year-old daughter tried to call for help four times. Tragically, the call never went through because she did not know that she needed to dial “9” for an outbound line. We have all been in a hotel and tried to dial out, and can understand that frustration. Now take it to a whole new level and imagine being in a life or death situation and not being able to get help on the line. The Multi-line telephone system (MLTS) had a significant flaw. The silver lining to this horror is that congress reacted by enacting Kari’s Law in 2018. The law requires that an MLTS allow users to dial 911 directly without having to dial any additional digit, code, prefix, or postfix. It also requires the MLTS to provide for notification of the 911 call when the call is made.

This brings us to the second part of this; Section 506 of the RAY BAUM’S Act. This section is to ensure that “dispatchable location” information is relayed with 911 calls so those first responders can more quickly locate the caller. Dispatchable location information includes the street address of the caller and additional information, such as a room or floor number, necessary to locate the caller promptly.

Since the passing of the new laws for MLTS, Vox Tandem has been preparing our 3CX Unified Communications business phone systems to be in compliance with the changes. 3CX is a software-based phone system that works with various IP phones and SIP trunks that can be installed on-premise or in a cloud. Voice over the internet protocol (IP or VoIP) is a technology that allows you to use the internet to make phone calls, whether in the office or remotely from home.  Regardless of where you choose to work, all of our business phone systems have been updated to support a direct-dial  911 right out-of-the-box. Not only is Vox Tandem compliant, but you can also rest easy knowing that our systems help keep your company and employees safe.

Vox Tandem will continue working with the FCC as rules are added in the coming years as part of this Act. We already have new technologies and features in development to ensure we remain compliant as new regulations come into effect in the coming future.

We may not know what the future will bring, but we do know what the past has. In an industry that’s primary focus is communication, we strive to stay on top of the latest laws and trends. If you have an older system in your building or business, you very well could be out of compliance with Kari’s Law. Vox Tandem always encourages companies with an older system to check with their IT department to make sure it has been updated. Drop us a line, and we will provide your company with a no-obligation quote.

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