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On March 24, 2014, Commissioner Ajit Pai of the FCC delivered a speech at the National
Emergency Number Association’s 9-1-1 Goes to Washington Conference. He provided an
update on the multi-line telephone system (MLTS) inquiry he began in January 2014. As a part
of that inquiry, he sent letters to the CEOs of the ten largest hotel chains in the U.S., asking the
companies for data on the properties at which consumers would reach help by dialing 911.
Responses: All ten of the hotel companies, along with the American Hotel and Lodging
Association (AH&LA), have responded to Commissioner Pai’s inquiry. AH&LA has
also conducted a survey of lodging properties across the United States.
Results: Consumers may be unable to dial 911 directly at tens of thousands of buildings
across the United States.
o AH&LA survey data indicates that guests reach emergency services if they dial
911 without an access code in only 44.5% of franchised properties and 32% of
independent hotels. The vast majority of the 53,000 lodging properties in the
United States are managed by independent owners or franchisees.
o In contrast, La Quinta reports that 100% of the systems at its managed properties
allow guests to connect directly with emergency services when they dial 911.
o Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, Starwood, and Wyndham all report guests can
connect directly with emergency services when they dial 911 in the substantial
majority of their managed properties.
Action Being Taken: Hotels have already begun to fix this problem.
o AH&LA has convened a diverse, industry-wide task force to address 911 calling
and is working to develop best practices.
o La Quinta expects that the direct-dialing problem will be fixed at all of its
franchised properties by April 1. This means that hundreds of hotels will have
upgraded their telephone systems in less than three months.
o InterContinental reports that the telephone provider for two of their hotel brands
has agreed to push out a no-cost software update to allow for direct 911 dialing.
o Hilton is educating its franchisees and is working with phone system providers to
evaluate and recommend appropriate upgrades.
Next Steps: Commissioner Pai is now launching the next step in his inquiry.
o Because this issue affects not just hotels but other large buildings like offices and
schools, Commissioner Pai sent letters on March 24 to the leading vendors of
MLTS services and products.
o These letters ask the MLTS vendors a series of questions about consumers’ ability
to dial 911 without the need for a “9” or any other access code and vendors’ plans
to upgrade systems that are currently in use to provide such functionality.

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