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E911: The MLTS Problem Gets More Complicated with New Legislation and New Technology

The Voice Report (Vol. 31, No. 27)
Andrew Brown

Network managers have more to worry about than complying with multiple state E911 laws which are being adopted across the country with increasing frequency. Rapidly-changing technology may also affect the proper delivery of 911 calls, and that can expose your business to significant liability.

Technology professionals are familiar with the widely reported E911 problem for multi-line telephone systems (“MLTS”): Calls to 911 emergency services made by users located behind a PBX may not accurately or sufficiently transmit the caller’s detailed location and call-back information to the correct local public safety answering point (“PSAP”) responsible for dispatching emergency services.

Nearly one-third of the states have adopted E911 laws or regulations. Many of these rules, particularly the most recently passed, impose obligations upon MLTS operators to transmit accurate and detailed call-back information for 911 calls originating from their MLTS. But the rules (and their applicability to any particular business) vary widely from state to state, and the absence of a single national standard makes compliance a real challenge for businesses with locations in multiple states.

This problem is only going to get worse.


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