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Migrate to the Cloud, You Can Break 911

 Emergency support 911 break-in call is not something that happens by itself. Planning is essential if you want to meet regulatory requirements. Although we all expect 911 to work once we dial those three numbers, there is more to it than that. You need to plan carefully when migrating your telephone system to the cloud. How can this connection be broken? And how can you keep it going through migration while remaining compliant with federal and state regulations?

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How to connect to 911 break-in calls

TDM, POTs, or PRI circuits were required to support 911 break-in calls in the past. IT departments had to maintain TDM, PRI, or POTs circuits to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and approximately 6,000 public safety answering points (PSAPs) across the U.S. and Canada. As a result, administrators must provide location information for end-users into the Automatic Location Information database (ALI). This means that if there are users in multiple jurisdictions (campuses or counties, states), the location information must be provided in all databases.

How to break the 911 break-in call connection

911 break-in calls The cloud is the future. It makes economic sense to move communications there, as TDM/PRI/POTs circuits can be expensive to maintain. However, enterprises may decide to rip these expensive circuits out in favor of cloud communications. This could also lead to the loss of public safety.

Many of our customers know this, so we discover that at least one circuit to the PSTN is still available for 911 calls. As a result, they limit the benefits of moving to cloud computing.

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Cloud migrations: 911 considerations

It is possible to have safe, reliable, and cost-effective E 911 break-in call connectivity through the cloud, but it requires the right partner who has a deep understanding of emergency services. These are the key questions you should ask when planning your E911 migration.

  1. Which part of the world are your users in?
  2. Suppose a VoIP server is installed in a central office and is accessible from any location within the company. In that case, 911 break-in calls may be automatically directed to the PSAP where the server is located. This does not necessarily mean the site where the 911 calls to placed.
  3. If an employee calls 911 from campus B, but your switch is on campus C, the ambulance could arrive at campus D– possibly miles away from the person in distress.
  4. Important to remember that not all PSAPs direct interconnected. 911 call takers will need to manually transfer the calls to the proper jurisdiction if this happens. This is only possible if they have the appropriate transfer procedures. This process can cause significant delays in emergency response times and cost valuable seconds, if not minutes.
  5. We see more companies deploying softphones for collaboration and mobility instead of relying solely on desk phones. It makes sense that not pinned employees can collaborate in other buildings, campuses, or across the country. This allows for greater flexibility and productivity but can make it difficult to locate 911 callers.
  6. Are you using voice, SIP trunking, and E911 services from different providers?
  7. As they move to the cloud, we often see organizations that have to manage multiple providers. This can make it more difficult to show ROI and may result in organizations losing control over their service quality when their voice provider outsources 911 to third parties. see also fxo.

Stay connected to 911

Working with an E911 provider that is cloud-based across the country, such as My Country Mobile (MCM), can help you eliminate expensive dedicated circuits while still providing 911 support and connectivity to PSAPs in the U.S.A and Canada. Moreover, you can do it with confidence. Here’s how.

MCM’s nationwide network links directly to all 911 break-in call tandems or selective routers. So all our customers need to do is connect to MCM’s VoIP switch. Then, we route 911 calls to the appropriate PSAPs and display an accurate provisioned address and caller name on the dispatcher’s monitor.

Here’s what a cloud 911 solution looks like:

This means:

  • Emergency calls made from anywhere in the enterprise can be quickly transferred to the correct PSAP, saving valuable time.
  • Enterprises can now provision only once using the MCM dashboard or our APIs. This will populate all ALI databases in the country and replace multiple provided records.
  • Critical location management capabilities will be available to you. This means that provisioned address information can be validated and errors corrected immediately before a 911 call. This will allow for more precise call routing, and public safety can respond quickly and efficiently with the best location information.
  • E911 Dynamic location routing, a new solution, allows for safe softphone use within an organization. Dynamic Location Routing uses PDF-LO technology to match the user’s current location with the 911 caller. 

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How to remain E911 compliant

E911 solutions don’t just focus on connectivity. Legal compliance is another critical consideration. Each enterprise must comply with various federal and state regulations, both existing and emerging. It can be challenging to keep track of all these mandates.

Here are the essentials for every company with a multi-line telephone system (MLTS).

Federal Regulations

The FCC approved an Order on August 1, 2019, that implemented Kari’s Law and Section 506 RAY BAUM’s Act.

  • Kari’s Law demands:
    • Direct dialing 911. To put it another way, calling 911 break-in calls does not require that callers dial “8”, “9”, or any other prefix or number to reach public safety.
    • Notification to the appropriate enterprise personnel. Report to the right enterprise personnel.
    • By February 16, 2020, compliance must be achieved. 
  • Section 506 of the RAY BAUM’S Act provides:
    • Dispatchable location (such as a street address, floor number, and suite number, if applicable).

State Regulations

  • Some states require compliance with MLTS 911 break-in call requirements, while others do not.
  • Also, enterprises need to be familiar with the laws of each state where their end-users will require access to 911 break-in calls.

A final warning: even if your legacy equipment appears to be exempt from the new mandates, you could still face litigation and negative media attention if users don’t meet their expectations during an emergency. It is a brilliant idea to work with legal, security, and human resources teams to review and revise operational processes and procedures.

These are vital questions that will help you jumpstart your internal assessment.

Regulatory Checklist

  • Are you currently in compliance with the Law?
  • End users can dial 911 break-in call directly without dialing an access code, i.e., “*” or “9”, press a button to call an outside number.
  • Can you accurately map user endpoint locations, including address, building, floor, and room?
  • Are you familiar with 911 break-in calls endpoints?
  • Are you able to offer virtual workers and satellite offices?

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