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Kari’s Law and Ray Baum's act's impact on VoIP providers

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Ray Baum's Act includes, according to section 506, that any multi-line telephone system (MLTS) used by a telecom company or VoIP Service providers, like Flowroute, must be able to provide 911 dispatch for any location in the US. This needed public-safety answering point (PSAP) information is required by Flowroute when associating an enhanced 911 (E911) address to a TN (telephone number). 

When using the E911 product in Flowroute, the customer gives the emergency dispatch identifiable information to perform the services needed. 

Ray Baum's Act increased the scope of the VoIP providers needing to provide E911 service. Flowroute's 911 Fee is necessary to recover legal and regulatory charges arising from Flowroute's compliance with the Act, including increased state and local taxes on E911 services.

To better explain the situation, we are providing a little background.

 

What is e911?
E911 is an emergency dispatch's locational information to provide the correct responders. When this information is present in the Flowroute account, the dispatch can find the accurate locality for the services which need to be made aware.

How does e911 apply to a Flowroute account?
Flowroute provides the dispatch with the E911 information associated with the account, specifically the DID that called 911.

What does e911 need to be used?
E911 is a user-established, and user-applied data point that Flowroute will need. The Flowroute account will house this E911 information as an optional selection. The crucial need to use an E911 effectively is to assign that E911 address in the Flowroute account to a specific DID. If the DID has the E911 applied, the next step is to ensure that the PBX using the Flowroute account knows what outbound caller ID contacted 911. If the outbound caller ID is not associated with any direct E911 address, the call will connect but seek additional information from a dropped call.

Will Flowroute connect a 911 call if no E911 address is assigned?
Yes. Flowroute will connect any call using its network to 911, and having no E911 assignments does not impact the connection. Suppose an E911 address is not associated with any DID on the account. There is a $95 fee to gather the approximate location of the call manually.

How does Kari's Law and RAY BAUM'S Act impact Flowroute's E911 system?
The act announced in 2019's goal was to keep any calls made within a multi-line telephone system (MLTS) or VoIP provider service, like the service Flowroute provides, acting in a way to precisely locate a 911 caller. The information passed is essential in high-rise buildings and multi-floored locations that may employ VoIP PBX systems. Flowroute provides SIP service, enabling PBX to work as a company telephone system. Under this act, the process of dialing 911 must be directly accessible without any pre-dial.

Contextually, the incident behind Kari's Law was an inability to dial 911 effectively. A woman died when the caller was unfamiliar with a hotel's pre-dial (9 before 911). Now, MLTS and VoIP service providers in the US must connect to 911 without any additional dialing. 

The RAY BAUM'S Act requires any outbound 911 to connect. The 911 dispatch will provide the dispatch with the stored E911 address assigned to that DID. Emergency responders must manually locate the caller if the dispatch is not supplied with an E911 address. A manual lookup will come with a $95 fee to perform this service. 

This new act ensures the caller's safety, decreases emergency response times, and offers precise information about the location of the call. 

 

Resources: 

911 Requirements for Multi-line Telephone Systems

ECFR: VoIP Services & E911 Service

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