E911 Compliant is a topic that has generated quite a few inquiries. 17 states have passed E911 legislation. According to MiCTA, Michigan will follow in January 1, 2012. This legislation applies to all businesses over 40,000 square feet, or if you have multiple buildings, regardless of the telephone technology currently in use within your organization. What does it mean to be compliant and how is compliance obtained?
The legislation, specifics obtained from MiCTA, requires all businesses that operate a multi-line telephone system inside one or multiple buildings, buildings that share a single address, or are more than 40,000 sq ft in size, install all necessary equipment and software to provide building, floor, and room number info to their local PSAP (public safety answering point) that can localize a 911 caller to an area no greater than 7000 square feet.
The question everyone is asking is how do businesses accomplish this? The first thing to keep in mind is that Plain Old Telephone Lines (POTs) can no longer reasonably be used to dial 911 and comply with the law. Upgrading to either an ISDN PRI or SIP Trunks and implementing Direct Inward Dialing (DID) numbers for each extension will be required. This technology works by attaching the detailed location information to the DID number within your carrier’s network. Contact your carrier for specific details on how to input the necessary location detail. When a 911 call is placed your E911 compliant telephone system will push the DID number you have assigned to that specific extension out to your carrier. Your carrier then relays your address information, in addition to the more detailed E911 floor number and the wing location over to the 911 call center. The dispatcher can then dispatch emergency service to your approximate location. Note: Please check with your telephone system manufacture for E911 compliance. Many businesses will find they are not compliant.
As with many compliance issues, no central authority exists for establishing uniform standards. Multi-site companies need to understand the law for each locality that they have buildings/employees and comply with that law. Don’t forget about those remote IP Phones many employees have in their homes!
To further discuss this issue or if there is a technology issue you would like more information on please feel free to call or send me an email.