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FCC Hosts 911 Reliability Workshop

June 3, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) hosted a workshop on June 2, 2014, to discuss the FCC's recent 911 Reliability Order.  Adopted in December 2013, this order requires entities that provide 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities directly to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) or that operate a central office that directly serves a PSAP to take reasonable measures to provide reliable service and to certify annually their compliance with the rules.  A summary of the workshop is available here.

The workshop included an overview of the obligations imposed by the FCC's 911 Reliability Order, which cover three general elements: Critical 911 Circuit Diversity, Central Office Backup Power, and Diverse Network Monitoring.  The Bureau also discussed the proposed process by which covered providers will submit their required annual certifications.  The Bureau solicited suggestions for ways to improve the proposed process, focusing in particular on the various alternative measures used by covered providers to meet the 911 reliability requirements.

The requirement that covered providers take reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service took effect in February 2014.  Although the certification requirement has yet to be approved by the Office of Management and Budget, such approval is expected by September 2014.  Based on this timeline, the Bureau indicated that initial certifications of at least 50 percent compliance with each element will be due in mid-2015, with complete annual certifications due every year thereafter.

The PowerPoint presentation that accompanied the Bureau's overview of the 911 Reliability Order is available here, and the PowerPoint presentation that accompanied the Bureau's description of the proposed annual certification process is available here.