Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In re Implementation of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, REPORT and order WC Docket No. 08-171, (FCC October 21, 2008) [REDACTED]

We thought we might try something new. Agency orders can be long dreary things filled with procedural discussions. Well, what if we redact out all the APA gobbly gook, and boil it down to what was actually decided. We gave it a go with the recent FCC Net 911 Improvement Act Order, and this is what it boiled down to:

In re Implementation of the NET 911 Improvement Act of 2008, REPORT and order WC Docket No. 08-171, (FCC October 21, 2008) [REDACTED]

[1] In this Order, we adopt rules implementing certain key provisions of the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act), which was enacted on July 23, 2008. Specifically, we issue rules that give interconnected VoIP providers rights of access to any and all capabilities necessary to provide 911 and E911 service from entities that own or control those capabilities. We also take steps to ensure that the nation’s E911 network remains secure as an expanded number of entities are granted rights to access this system.

[3] The NET 911 Act explicitly imposes on each interconnected VoIP provider the obligation to provide 911 and E911 service in accordance with Commission existing requirements. The NET 911 Act also grants each interconnected VoIP provider rights with respect to “capabilities” to provide 911 and E911 services. Specifically, section 101 of the NET 911 Act adds a new section 6 to the Wireless 911 Act that states in relevant part:

DUTIES. – It shall be the duty of each IP-enabled voice service provider to provide 9–1–1 service and enhanced 9–1–1 service to its subscribers in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission, as in effect on the date of enactment of the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 and as such requirements may be modified by the Commission from time to time.

PARITY FOR IP-ENABLED VOICE SERVICE PROVIDERS.—An IP-enabled voice service provider that seeks capabilities to provide 9–1–1 and enhanced 9–1–1 service from an entity with ownership or control over such capabilities, to comply with its obligations under subsection (a), shall, for the exclusive purpose of complying with such obligations, have a right of access to such capabilities, including interconnection, to provide 9–1–1 and enhanced 9–1–1 service on the same rates, terms, and conditions that are provided to a provider of commercial mobile service . . . , subject to such regulations as the Commission prescribes under subsection (c).

[7] 911 service generally falls into two categories – basic and enhanced. Basic 911 service delivers 911 calls to an appropriate PSAP or public safety agency without the information regarding the caller’s location or, in some cases, a call back number. E911 service expands basic 911 service by not only delivering 911 calls to an appropriate PSAP, or public safety agency, but also providing the call taker with the caller’s call back number, referred to as Automatic Numbering Identification (ANI), and location information — a capability referred to as Automatic Location Identification (ALI).

[12] Interconnected VoIP E911 Network. Under the Commission’s rules, interconnected VoIP providers must provide E911 service to their customers. Interconnected VoIP service may enable customers to place calls from various geographic locations which may necessitate the use of p-ANI for routing 911 calls. Furthermore, given the state of current technology to determine automatically the location from which an interconnected VoIP call is made, the Commission required providers of interconnected VoIP services to obtain location information, called “Registered Location,” from their customers.

[13] Under the Commission’s rules, interconnected VoIP providers must forward all 911 calls made over their interconnected VoIP service, as well as a call back number and the caller’s Registered Location for each call, to the appropriate PSAP. These calls must be routed through the use of ANI and, if necessary, and similar to wireless carriers, p-ANI, via the dedicated Wireline E911 Network, and the caller’s Registered Location must be available from or through the ALI Database. Interconnected VoIP providers may comply with the Commission’s rules by interconnecting indirectly through a third party such as a competitive LEC, interconnecting directly with the Wireline E911 Network, or through any other solution that allows the provider to offer E911 service.

[24] we issue rules to grant interconnected VoIP providers a right of access to the capabilities CMRS providers use to provide E911 service equal to the access rights made available to CMRS providers.

[25] Second, with respect to any capabilities that are not provided to CMRS providers for their provision of E911 service, we interpret the NET 911 Act as granting interconnected VoIP providers a right of access if the capability is necessary for the interconnected VoIP provider to provide E911 service in compliance with the Commission’s rules.

[27] Typical Capabilities. . . Thus, in a typical local architecture, “capabilities” will include: the Selective Router; the trunk line(s) between the Selective Router and the PSAP(s); the ALI Database; the SR Database; the DBMS, the MSAG; p-ANIs; ESNs; mobile switching center capabilities; mobile positioning center capabilities; shell records; the data circuits connecting these elements; and the network elements, features, processes, and agreements necessary to enable the use of these elements.

[28] Entities with Ownership or Control of Capabilities. We conclude that interconnected VoIP providers are entitled to access to capabilities from any entity that owns or controls such capabilities. . . . We therefore interpret the NET 911 Act to impose obligations of access on each of the entities described in part II.D of this Order, including in typical E911 architectures: incumbent LECs, PSAPs and local authorities, VPCs, CMRS providers, competitive carriers, and the Interim RNA to the extent any of these entities has “ownership or control” over any capabilities to which interconnected VoIP providers have a right of access.

Rates, Terms, and Conditions

[32] We interpret the term “provided” as used in this provision as encompassing not only those capabilities that are actually provisioned to a CMRS provider as well as the rates, terms, and conditions under which they are provisioned, but also those capabilities that are currently offered to a CMRS provider as well as the rates, terms, and conditions under which they are offered. We interpret “provided” broadly to ensure that interconnected VoIP providers are able to access the same capabilities that CMRS providers may access on the same rates, terms, and conditions that are available to CMRS providers.

[33] In addition, if an owner or controller of a capability does not provide a capability to CMRS providers but is required under part III.A above to grant interconnected VoIP providers access to such capability, such access must be provided on the rates, terms, and conditions that would be offered to a CMRS provider.

[34] If an owner or controller of a capability required to be made available does not currently make that capability available to any other entities, the rates, terms and conditions under which that owner or controller must provide access to a requesting interconnected VoIP provider must be reasonable, and should be reached through commercial negotiation. . . . Finally, we emphasize that all rights to capabilities that the NET 911 Act grants to an interconnected VoIP provider are “for the exclusive purpose of complying with . . . its obligations under subsection (a) [i.e. the Commission’s existing E911 rules].”

Technical, Network Security, and Information Privacy Requirements

[37] NENA has developed national VoIP E911 requirements, referred to as NENA’s i2 standard, that are “designed to ensure that VoIP 9-1-1 calls are routed and presented in a wireline equivalent manner.” We believe that any interconnected VoIP provider that is in compliance with this standard already is coordinating its efforts with the other organizational entities responsible for providing E911 service.

[38] We require interconnected VoIP providers to comply with all applicable industry network security standards to the same extent as traditional telecommunications carriers when they access capabilities traditionally used by carriers.

[39] Finally, our rules contemplate that incumbent LECs and other owners or controllers of 911 or E911 infrastructure will acquire information regarding interconnected VoIP providers and their customers for use in the provision of emergency services. We fully expect that these entities will use this information only for the provision of E911 service. To be clear, no entity may use customer information obtained as a result of the provision of 911 or E911 services for marketing purposes. [NOTE: This is similar to the original CPNI rules]


Final Rules

Part 9 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended to read as follows:
PART 9 – INTERCONNECTED VOICE OVER INTERNET PROTOCOL SERVICES

1. The authority citation for Part 9 is amended to read as follows:

Authority:  47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j), 251(e), 303(r), and 615a-1 unless otherwise noted.

2. § 9.1 is amended to read as follows.

§ 9.1 Purposes.

The purposes of this part are to set forth the 911 and E911 service requirements and conditions applicable to interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol service providers, and to ensure that those providers have access to any and all 911 and E911 capabilities they need to comply with those 911 and E911 service requirements and conditions.

3. § 9.3 is amended by adding in alphabetical order definitions of “ALI” and “CMRS” to read as follows.

§ 9.3 Definitions.

Automatic Location Information (ALI). Information transmitted while providing E911 service that permits emergency service providers to identify the geographic location of the calling party.

CMRS. Commercial Mobile Radio Service, as defined in § 20.9 of this chapter.

4. § 9.7 is added to read as follows.

§ 9.7  Access to 911 and E911 Service Capabilities.
 
(a)  Access.  Subject to the other requirements of this part, an owner or controller of a capability that can be used for 911 or E911 service shall make that capability available to a requesting interconnected VoIP provider as set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.
 
(1)  If the owner or controller makes the requested capability available to a CMRS provider, the owner or controller must make that capability available to the interconnected VoIP provider.  An owner or controller makes a capability available to a CMRS provider if the owner or controller offers that capability to any CMRS provider.
 
(2)  If the owner of controller does not make the requested capability available to a CMRS provider within the meaning of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the owner or controller must make that capability available to a requesting interconnected VoIP provider only if that capability is necessary to enable the interconnected VoIP provider to provide 911 or E911 service in compliance with the Commission’s rules.
 
(b)  Rates, Terms, and Conditions.  The rates, terms, and conditions on which a capability is provided to an interconnected VoIP provider under paragraph (a) of this section shall be reasonable.  For purposes of this paragraph, it is evidence that rates, terms, and conditions are reasonable if they are:  (1) the same as the rates, terms, and conditions that are made available to CMRS providers, or (2) in the event such capability is not made available to CMRS providers, the same rates, terms, and conditions that are made available to any telecommunications carrier or other entity for the provision of 911 or E911 service.  
 
(c)  Permissible Use.  An interconnected VoIP provider that obtains access to a capability pursuant to this section may use that capability only for the purpose of providing 911 or E911 service in accordance with the Commission’s rules.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NET 911 IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2008. Adopted rules
implementing certain key provisions of the New and Emerging Technologies
911 Improvement Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act). (Dkt No. 08-171). Action by:
the Commission. Adopted: 10/21/2008 by R&O. (FCC No. 08-249). WCB
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