On August 1, 2019, the Commission adopted rules under Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act to ensure that “dispatchable location” information is conveyed with 911 calls so that first responders can more quickly locate the caller.  Dispatchable location information includes the street address of the caller and additional information, such as room or floor number, necessary to adequately locate the caller.

These rules apply to the following 911-capable services:  multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), fixed telephony, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), and mobile text service.

These rules do not apply to wireless providers, who are subject to separate location accuracy requirements and benchmarks.  Information on wireless 911 location accuracy requirements can be accessed on the Location Accuracy web page.

MLTS providers are also subject to direct dialing and notification requirements in connection with 911 calls.  For information on these requirements, see the MLTS web page.

Dispatchable Location Requirements

The dispatchable location rules and compliance deadlines for MLTS, fixed telephony, VoIP, TRS, and mobile text differ depending on the particular service and whether the device used to make the call is fixed or non-fixed.  Fixed devices (e.g., wired telephones) cannot be readily moved from one location to another by the user, while non-fixed devices (also described as mobile or nomadic devices) can readily be moved by the user for use at multiple locations or while in motion.

Fixed devices.  The rules for fixed devices operating on MLTS, fixed telephony, VoIP, or TRS require provision of automated dispatchable location with each 911 call, which means that the location information is generated automatically, without any action by the 911 caller when placing the call.

Non-fixed devices.  The rules for non-fixed MLTS, VoIP, TRS, and mobile text devices require provision of automated dispatchable location with each 911 call if it is technically feasible.  If providing automated dispatchable location with a 911 call from a non-fixed device is not feasible, the rules allow provision of alternative location information.  The requirements for alternative location information vary depending on the particular service:

  • For on-premises MLTS, VoIP, and TRS, alternative location information may be coordinate-based, and it must be sufficient to identify the caller’s civic address and approximate in-building location, including floor level, in large buildings.
  • For off-premises MLTS and mobile text, enhanced location information also may be coordinate-based, and it must consist of the best available location that can be obtained from any available technology or combination of technologies at reasonable cost.

Compliance Deadlines

The effective date for the RAY BAUM’S Act dispatchable location rules is January 6, 2020.  These rules establish different compliance deadlines for meeting the applicable dispatchable location requirements depending on whether the device originating the 911 call is fixed or non-fixed:

Services supporting 911 calls from fixed devices.  The deadline for compliance with applicable dispatchable location requirements is one year after the effective date, i.e., January 6, 2021.

Services supporting 911 calls from non-fixed devices.  The deadline for compliance with applicable dispatchable location requirements is two years after the effective date, i.e., January 6, 2022.

Some of the rules implementing RAY BAUM’s Act contain information collection requirements that must be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  Once OMB approval has occurred, the Commission will announce compliance dates for the information collection requirements and will provide updates on this web page.

Resources

911 Regulations 47 C.F.R. Part 9

911 Dispatchable Location Rules

Fixed telephony – 47 C.F.R. § 9.8

Mobile text – 47 C.F.R. § 9.10(q)

Interconnected VoIP – 47 C.F.R. §§ 9.11, 9.12

TRS – 47 C.F.R. §§ 9.13, 9.14

MLTS – 47 C.F.R. §§ 9.15, 9.16, 9.17

The FCC will closely monitor any complaints about alleged violations of these 911 rules.

  • Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), also known as 911 call centers, and other public safety entities may request support from the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and notify the Bureau of problems or issues affecting the provision of emergency services through the Public Safety Support Center.

Archive

Report and Order – Implementing Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act (Aug. 1, 2019)

Erratum – Implementing Kari's Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM'S Act (PSHSB Dec. 2, 2019)

Public Notice – Announcing Jan. 6, 2020 Effective Date for Rules Implementing Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act (PSHSB Dec. 5, 2019)

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Implementing Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act (Oct. 26, 2018)

Notice of Inquiry – FCC to Examine 911 Capabilities of Enterprise Communications Systems (Sept. 26, 2017)

Updated: 
Friday, January 10, 2020