The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on the information being collected for its initiative to implement Enhanced 911 (E911) emergency services.
On Aug. 28, 2012, the FCC posted a Federal Register notice—Information Collection(s) Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission, Comments Requested—that says “under the commission’s E911 rules, a wireless carrier must provide E911 service to a particular public safety answering point (PSAP) within six months only if that PSAP makes a request for the service and is capable of receiving and utilizing the information provided.”
The commission will use the certification filings from wireless carriers to determine each carrier’s compliance with its E911 obligations. The FCC will review carrier certifications to ensure that carriers have sufficiently explained the basis for their conclusion that a particular PSAP will not be ready and have identified all of the specific steps for the PSAP to provide the requested service. The commission retains the discretion to investigate a carrier’s certification and take enforcement action if appropriate. The order contains information collection requirements for which the FCC seeks continued OMB approval, including:
- The FCC established a procedure whereby wireless carriers that have completed all necessary steps toward E911 implementation that are not dependent on PSAP readiness may have their compliance obligation temporarily tolled if the PSAP is not ready to receive the information at the end of the six-month period and the carrier files a certification to that effect with the commission.
- A carrier must notify the PSAP of its intent to file a certification with the FCC that the PSAP is not ready to receive and use the information. The PSAP is permitted to send a response to the carrier’s notification to affirm that it is not ready to receive E911 information or to challenge the carrier’s characterization of its state of readiness. Carriers are required to include any response they receive from the PSAP in their certification filing to the commission.
- The FCC clarified that noting in its rules prevented wireless carriers and PSAPs from mutually agreeing to an E911 deployment schedule at variance with the schedule contained in the commission’s rules. Carriers and PSAPs may choose to participate in the certification and private negotiation process. The FCC does not require participation.
The deadline for comments is Oct. 29, 2012.