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What is E911 and How Does it Affect Your Business? 

What is E911? Is it the same as regular 911?

Unlike 911, which only connects calls to a Public Safety Answer Point and does not provide any other details, E911 or Enhanced 911 incorporates additional systems like Automatic Number Identification, Automatic Location Identification, and Master Street Address Guides to route calls to the best Public Safety Answer Point and present them with caller ID and address. E911 improves public safety by facilitating prompt and accurate deployment of emergency services.

How Does This Affect Your Business?

The FCC now requires that interconnected VoIP services which support fixed devices provide dispatchable location information with 911 calls initiated from those devices. As a business, this means you are legally responsible to determine the dispatchable location for each fixed device attached to your communications infrastructure, whether it be an on-premises system or in the Cloud.

Unfortunately, if your business hasn’t taken steps to ensure E911 is functional for your communications system, then you’ve fallen behind. The new FCC requirements took effect January 6, 2021 for Kari’s Law and fixed devices (such as analog end points) and will take effect for non-fixed devices (such as IP phones, softphones, and mobile clients) on January 6, 2022. Fortunately, CNP Technologies can help get you up to speed and reliably connect 911 callers to public safety, all while protecting your users and meeting regulatory demands for your specific business.

Have questions about E911 Regulatory Requirements and How They Affect Your Business? Check out our E911 for Business FAQs

7 Steps to Prepare Your Business for E911

Navigating E911 for companies has become somewhat of a challenge. A decade ago, implementing an E911 solution for a multi-line telephone system was fairly straightforward; but today, a multitude of factors exist including IP, SIP trunking, remote workers, wireless networks, and soft phones. Providing effective 911 emergency support which meets FCC requirements doesn’t just happen anymore. It requires careful planning. Below are a few steps you can take to ensure your business is compliant: 

  1. Consult with legal representation regarding your compliance. Here’s a link to the FCC Report and Order to implement Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act.
  2. Ensure your end users can direct dial 911 without having to dial an access code first (i.e., “*” or “9” for an outside line). In short, if a child could call for help without knowing how to operate the office phone system, you’re set up correctly.
  3. Set up notifications to alert key personnel in the event there’s an emergency. Notifications can be provided via email, phone call recording, or SMS text message formats.
  4. Discuss and determine what dispatchable locations are appropriate for your specific business environment(s) and if changes are needed.
  5. Contact your SIP carriers to find out if they support additional or new location detail fields in the SIP header.
  6. Accurately map user endpoint locations including address, building, floor, and room number. “Dispatchable location” (part of the requirement under RAY BAUM’s Act) is essentially the door that first responders need to find to assist callers. This address needs to be formatted correctly and validated for errors in a master street address guide (MSAG) format.
    Note: CNP Technologies can work with you and your current telecom provider to ensure your endpoint location mapping is accurate.
  7. Have a plan for virtual workers and satellite offices. Your HR, facilities, and IT teams can work with your legal counsel to help you determine how to best support users in remote locations.

To learn more about E911 Business requirements, what it is, and how it may affect your business, check out our E911 FAQs page. If you have additional questions about E911 and your requirements you can reach out to our experts here and even get a free assessment of your current system to see if you’re meeting standards.

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