Today's Regulatory Mix: FCC Urges Implementation of Direct Dialing From MLTS, FCC Extends Filing Deadline In ICS Case, North Carolina Broadband Grants
FCC Urges Implementation of Direct Dialing From MLTS
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai joined leaders of the Orleans Parish Communications District in their efforts to encourage local businesses to transition their phone systems to support direct-dial access to 911 from multi-line phones systems. Likewise, he welcomed their work to promote public awareness of, and compliance with, the FCC’s rules implementing Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act.
Kari’s Law is named in honor of Kari Hunt, who was killed by her estranged husband in a motel room in Marshall, Texas in 2013. Her then-nine-year-old daughter tried to call 911 four times from the motel room phone, but the calls never went through because she did not know that the motel’s phone system required dialing “9” for an outbound line before dialing 911.
Chairman Pai said in part: “Earlier this year, FCC rules took effect to make it easier for Americans in hotels, office buildings, and campuses to dial 911 directly and get help from first responders during emergencies. These reforms will save lives. It has been an honor to work alongside Hank throughout the years and an inspiration to see how one brave, determined person can make such a positive difference. The upcoming deadlines for the implementation of RAY BAUM’S Act will similarly speed up the response time for those dialing 911 in hotels, offices and campus environments. Requiring the provision of a more precise ‘dispatchable’ location, regardless of the platform used to call, will give first responders the information they need to locate callers in need. I thank the Orleans Parish Communications District for shining a light on these important deadlines.”
The direct-dialing obligations of Kari’s law became effective February 17, 2020. The location obligations under RAY BAUM’S Act generally have implementation deadlines of January 6, 2021 for fixed services and January 6, 2022 for non-fixed and off-premises services. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 12/21/20, 12/17/19, 8/19/19, and 8/21/19.
FCC Extends Filing Deadline in ICS Case
The FCC has extended the time for filing reply comments in response its proposal to reduce the existing interstate inmate calling service (ICS) rate caps and to adopt international rate caps for the first time. The new deadline is January 15, 2021. Reply comments had been due December 22, 2020. The extension was granted at the request of the Wright Petitioners, Prison Policy Initiative, Public Knowledge, United Church of Christ, OC Inc., and Worth Rises, who cited constrained resources during the holiday season to support the good cause for the waiver. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 10/26/20, and 8/25/20.
North Carolina Broadband Grants
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D.) announced that the grants totaling nearly $30 million were being awarded to fund 18 broadband infrastructure projects with a goal of connecting 15,965 households and 703 businesses in rural North Carolina to high-speed Internet. The grants are part of the 2020 "Special Supplementary Round of the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Grant" program and will be distributed through the N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT) Broadband Infrastructure Office (BIO).
The Governor said: "This pandemic is shining a light on the need for better high-speed Internet access in rural communities. These projects will the make sure the Internet can connect people to the education, health care, and jobs they need."
The Regulatory Mix will be on hiatus from 12/23/2020 - 1/3/2021
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.