Best Practices for Complying with RAY BAUM’s Act
Tuesday, June 28, 2022 | Comments
The compliance deadlines for RAY BAUM’s Act has passed but many companies are struggling to fully comply with the requirements of the act.

‘We’re almost six months into the final deadline,” said Robin Erkkila, emergency services solution engineer with Bandwidth. “We’re in the thick of it.”

RAY BAUM’s Act requires that multiline telephone systems (MLTS) provide a dispatchable location to 9-1-1 public-safety answering points (PSAP) regardless of the technology used. The act required that all on-premises fixed devices be compliant by January 6, 2021, and all on-premise non-fixed devices and off premise devices had to be compliant by January 6 of this year.

Erkkila said that more than 50 percent of the companies he’s talked to are not compliant with the acts. He noted that generally when new regulations go into effect, there’s a period where companies may struggle to meet them.

“Whenever regulations go out, there’s always just a lag,” he said.

Additionally, Erkkila said, complying with the act proved to be more difficult and time-consuming than first anticipated. The COVID-19 pandemic played a key role in this.

“Everyone picked up their phones and went home,” he said. “At that point, the deadline had not come, but it created a larger body of work for people to do to enable those remote workers.”

Prior to the pandemic much of the work in complying with RAY BAUM’s Act had focused on on-network devices where most of the equipment that had to comply with the act were on the company’s internal network.

However, that changed greatly when the pandemic increased the number of workers working remotely, Erkkila said. Suddenly, IT departments working on complying with the act had to map out all of the different end points caused by that remote work, greatly increasing the compliance workload.

Erkkila offered two key steps companies can do to catch up with compliance with the law. The first is to properly educate the key decision-makers within a company.

“If you don’t think you understand it, get educated,” Erkkila said. “Really understand what the problem is and what you need to comply with it.”

Key stakeholders to educate about the act include the financial and technical sides of the business. The financial side of the business needs to be educated on the costs of implementation as well as the risks of not complying with the act, Erkkila said. Education about the legal and other risks can help the financial side of the business understand why compliance costs should be prioritized.

Meanwhile, the technical side of the business needs to be educated on how exactly the system for complying with the law works, as well as how the system needs to be configured.

Second, organizations struggling with complying with the law should consider getting help in implementing any necessary measures.

“Once you get educated, find a partner that can help you solve and set up budget,” Erkkila said. “In some instances you can solve for this in a matter of days or hours.”

In looking for a partner, Erkkila said that companies should consider three key things:
• Service. Companies should understand what they’re going to get from a partner. There will always be things that go wrong or issues that arise and companies should find a partner that will help address those issues as they arise.
• Transparency. Companies should look for a partner who will be transparent and act with integrity. A good partner will be honest about whether something is feasible or not during the implementation.
• Price. Companies that receive good service and transparency may be willing to pay a little more for the price, but companies should make sure they are fully aware of the true costs for implementing compliance with the act.

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