Kari’s Law and its Impacts:
There has been new regulatory guidance over the last year from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and from our Unified Communications partner, Mitel, designed to keep users of telephone systems safe in dialing 911 emergency services.
The history of Kari’s Law
In 2013 a tragic incident took place. Kari and her nine-year-old daughter were in a hotel room in Marshall, Texas. Kari was attacked and killed in this hotel room by her estranged husband. Kari’s daughter had known to dial “911” and she did so multiple times, but the call never went through. Why? Because the hotel phone system required guests to dial a “9” when making external calls. Hank Hunt, Kari’s father, got to work; he proposed that 911 calls should not require a prefix of “9” before dialing out from business telephone systems.
Most of us are familiar with dialing “9” or other prefixes when making outgoing calls. This new government guidance (called “Kari’s Law”) wants to ensure that nothing stands in the way of easily making 911 calls.
According to the law (FCC 19-76), manufacturers, sellers, and lessors of multi-line voice systems (like Mitel), provide a hardware or software feature that, when turned on, enables direct dialing to 911 as soon as the system connects to a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
This law ensures that providers of phone systems will do their part. Still, it’s essential for users of the phone systems to be aware of the second part of this law, which directs installers, managers, and operators of these systems to ensure that all users must be able to dial 911 directly, as soon as the system connects to the PSTN.
If the system can do so, the law states 911 call notifications be sent to a central location at the facility or another person or organization at another facility.
This statute went into effect on February 16, 2020, two years after the enactment date of Kari’s Law. To learn more about the specifics of Kari’s Law, visit the FCC website for details-Multi-line Telephone Systems – Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’S Act 911 Direct Dialing, Notification, and Dispatchable Location Requirements.
So what does this mean for users of Mitel phone systems?
First, it means that both on-premise and cloud-based system operators need to ensure that these features are active and that Kari’s Law is enabled. Second, please review the below as it pertains to the different flavors of Mitel systems as it relates to these new regulations:
Support direct 911 dialing:
- MiCloud Connect
- MiVoice Connect
Support of direct 911 dialing and 911 notifications:
- MiCloud Flex
- MiVoice Business
- MiVoice Office 400
For more questions on system compatibility with this new law, as well as upgrades to older systems to achieve compliance-
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