Thursday, July 14, 2011

FCC :: RFC :: Amending Definition of Interconnected VoIP :: Comments Due TBA Fed Reg

Introduction
1.                  In this Third Report and Order, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we enhance the public’s ability to contact emergency services personnel during times of crisis and enable public safety personnel to obtain accurate information regarding the location of the caller.  In the Report and Order, we continue to strengthen our existing Enhanced 911 (E911) location accuracy regime for wireless carriers by retaining the existing handset-based and network-based location accuracy standards and the eight-year implementation period established in our September 2010 E911 Location Accuracy Second Report and Order but providing for phasing out the network-based standard over time.  We also require new Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) networks to comply with the handset-based location criteria, regardless of the location technology they actually use.  In addition, we will require wireless carriers to periodically test their outdoor E911 location accuracy results and to share the results with Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), state 911 offices, and the Commission, subject to confidentiality safeguards. 
2.                  In the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we propose measures to improve911 availability and location determination for users of interconnected Voiceover Internet Protocol (VoIP) services.  First, we consider whether to apply our 911 rules to “outbound-only” interconnected VoIP services, i.e., services that support outbound calls to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) but not inbound voice calling from the PSTN.  These services, which allow consumers to place IP-based outbound calls to any telephone number, have grown increasingly popular in recent years. We ask whether such services are likely to generate consumer expectations that they will support 911 calling and consider whether to extend to outbound-only interconnected VoIP service providers the same 911 requirements that have applied to other interconnected VoIP service providers since 2005.
3.                  We also seek comment on whether we should develop a framework for ensuring that all covered VoIP service providers can provide automatic location information (ALI) for VoIP 911 calls.  Currently, interconnected VoIP customers must provide their location information manually by registering the physical location of their phones with their VoIP service providers.  While there are benefits to this Registered Location approach, in light of the increasing popularity of VoIP calling, the enhanced mobility of VoIP devices, and the evolution of consumer expectations, we consider how we might continue working towards automatic location solutions for VoIP calls to 911.  We do not propose specific automatic location accuracy requirements for VoIP at this time but instead seek comment on whether we should adopt general governing principles for the development of automatic location identification solutions.  To ensure that ALI can be generated and transmitted in the most technologically efficient and cost-effective manner, we anticipate that some of these solutions will require participation by both “over the top” VoIP service providers that offer service directly to customers and broadband providers that provide underlying network connectivity for VoIP calls.  General governing principles might apply to both types of providers but could also afford flexibility to VoIP service providers and broadband providers to develop alternative solutions appropriate to specific VoIP 911 scenarios.
  4. We seek comment on an array of issues associated with extending 911 calling and location accuracy requirements to broadband-based voice services other than interconnected and outbound-only interconnected VoIP services.  We request comment on whether we should seek to support 911 location determination through leveraging of location technologies that are already being developed for commercial broadband applications.  We also seek comment on the possibility of developing operational benchmarks based on location accuracy performance to enhance consumer decision-making with respect to device capabilities.  In addition, we seek comment on technological approaches to improve location accuracy for 911 communications originating from indoor environments.  Finally, in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, we seek comment on whether our proposal to amend the definition of interconnected VoIP service for 911 purposes has any impact on our interpretation of certain statutes that reference the FCC’s existing definition of interconnected VoIP service.

AMENDING THE DEFINITION OF INTERCONNECTED VOIP SERVICE IN SECTION 9.3 OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES; WIRELESS E911 LOCATION ACCURACY REQUIREMENTS; E911 REQUIREMENTS FOR IP-ENABLED SERVICE PROVIDERS. FCC Strengthens Enhanced 911 Location Accuracy Requirements For Wireless Services. Seeks Comment on Improved 911 Availability and E911 Location Determination For VoIP. by 3RD R&O AND 2ND FNPRM. (Dkt No. 05-196 07-114 11-117 ). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 07/12/2011 by NPRM. (FCC No. 11-107). PSHSB   FCC-11-107A1.doc  FCC-11-107A2.doc  FCC-11-107A3.doc  FCC-11-107A4.doc  FCC-11-107A5.doc  FCC-11-107A1.pdf  FCC-11-107A2.pdf  FCC-11-107A3.pdf  FCC-11-107A4.pdf  FCC-11-107A5.pdf  FCC-11-107A1.txt  FCC-11-107A2.txt  FCC-11-107A3.txt  FCC-11-107A4.txt  FCC-11-107A5.txt 
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