House Passes Kari’s Law, Rural Call Completion Bill
Friday, February 09, 2018 | Comments

The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 582, the Kari’s Law Act of 2017, and S. 96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017. Both bills originated in the Energy and Commerce Committee.

H.R. 582, introduced by Rep. Louie Gohmert, would require that any multiline telephone system (MLTS) connect directly to 9-1-1 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.

The Senate passed a version of Kari’s Law earlier this month, along with S.96, and both bills now await the president’s signature. The Senate passed the bill last year as well, but it didn’t become law.

S. 96, introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, would require the FCC to establish call completion standards for intermediary providers that sometimes have not routed calls properly in rural areas.

“When an emergency strikes, Kari’s Law will help give every person in America the certainty that dialing 9-1-1 means 9-1-1, even if you’re calling from a hotel or office phone,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn. “Poor call quality, not to mention lost or failed calls, are still widespread problems for rural Americans across the country. By focusing on standards for call completion in rural communities, S. 96 ensures that Americans living in rural and remote areas will share the type of high-quality phone service many people in major cities take for granted.”

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