Telecom Alert – Kari's Law; Annual CPNI Certifications Due; Annual 911 Report; AIRWAVES Act; Congress Agrees on Budget; False Tsunami Alert; CAF II Auction Webinar - Vol. XV, Issue 7
Kari’s Law Enacted
While voting on the budget to end a short government shutdown, Congress passed a final version of Kari’s Law, affecting multiline telephone systems (IP or TDM) operated by businesses and government agencies installed two years after the law’s enactment. Kari’s Law requires all MLTS systems be configured to enable users to dial “9-1-1” to reach the local PSAP, as opposed to dialing “9+9-1-1.” Kari’s law is named after a young woman who tried numerous times unsuccessfully to dial 9-1-1 from a hotel room, but could not do so because of having to dial “9” to access the PSTN and the local PSAP. Kari’s law first picked up steam late in the Summer when versions of the bill passed in both the House and the Senate (Vol. XIV, Issue 32). The law, as enacted, contains aspects of both versions of the bill.
Reminder: Annual CPNI Certifications Due
The Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice reminding telecommunication carriers and interconnected VoIP providers to submit their annual certification, documenting compliance with the FCC’s customer proprietary network information (CPNI) rules by March 1, 2018. CPNI rules provide important consumer protections to ensure carriers adequately safeguard customer’s sensitive telecommunications usage information. Failure to comply may result in an enforcement action and a monetary fine for each violation or each day of the continuing violation.
Annual Report Reveals 911 Funds Diverted for Other Purposes
On February 7, the FCC released its Ninth Annual Report to Congress on the collection and use of 911 fees by U.S. states and other reporting entities. The report disclosed that 911/E911 fees collected from consumers were diverted for other purposes in 2016 from six states: New Jersey, West Virginia, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and New York. The FCC released a Public Notice seeking comments on potential mechanisms to discourage future fee diversion.
House Introduces AIRWAVES Act
The bipartisan AIRWAVES Act was introduced in the House of Representatives and has received widespread endorsement from FCC Commissioners, the wireless industry, and public interest advocates. The Act proposes making available more licensed and unlicensed federal spectrum for commercial use to accelerate and expand 5G services. Key provisions include firm spectrum auction deadlines for key bands and allocates 10% of auction proceeds to rural areas to foster innovation and market competition.
Congress Agrees on Two-Year Budget
The two-year bipartisan budget agreement enacted by Congress last week includes $20 billion for national infrastructure projects, including highways, water, wastewater, and rural broadband. On February 16, the FCC Commissioners will testify at a budget oversight hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee. The hearing will focus on the FCC’s budget outlined in President Trump’s federal budget request. \
False Tsunami Alert
A false tsunami alert was sent along the East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean last week. The National Weather Service’s Tsunami Warning Center was conducting a routine Tsunami test when “at least one private sector company” reportedly received an official warning. The company communicated the warning to its subscribers, which quickly spread throughout various media outlets. The Weather Service’s Twitter account subsequently announced that there was no tsunami warning, emphasizing that it was just a test. The Weather Service is continuing to investigate the incident. This comes just weeks after Hawaii’s false ballistic missile alert and an extensive FCC investigation into emergency alert systems nationwide (Vol. XV, Issue 6).