Pai, Public-Safety Officials Urge Compliance with Direct 9-1-1 Dialing Efforts
Monday, December 21, 2020 | Comments

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and public-safety leaders urged local businesses to transition their phone systems to support direct-dial access to 9-1-1 from multiline phone systems.

The commission recently approved rules implementing Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act. Both laws are aimed at improving 9-1-1 access and service.

“Nearly seven years ago, Hank Hunt launched a campaign to change phone systems so other families would not suffer a tragedy like his own,” said Chairman Pai. “We are all taught from a very young age to dial 9-1-1 for emergencies. But because hotel phones required guests to dial 9 before calling 9-1-1, the calls for placed by Kari’s daughter never went though. Thanks to Hank’s courage and dedication, Kari’s Law was enacted to change this.”

In 2013, Kari Hunt, Hank Hunt’s daughter, was murdered by her estranged husband in a Texas hotel room. Kari’s then-nine-year-old daughter tried to call for help for her mother but was unable to because the hotel phone required her to dial 9 first. Following Kari’s death, Hank Hunt began an effort to require businesses to have their multiline phones require direct dialing. Those efforts led to the passage of Kari’s Law.

“Earlier this year, FCC rules took effect to make it easier for Americans in hotels, office buildings and campuses to dial 9-1-1 directly and get help from first responders during emergencies,” Pai said. “These reforms will save lives. It has been an honor to work alongside Hank throughout the years and an inspiration to see how one brave, determined person make such a difference.”

The direct-dialing obligations of Kari’s Law became effective February 17. Ray Baum’s Act brings location obligations to those same telephone systems. The FCC recently released compliance deadlines for Ray Baum’s Act.

“The upcoming deadlines for the implementation of Ray Baum’s Act will similarly speed up the response time for those dialing 9-1-1 in hotels, offices and campus environments,” Pai said. “Requiring the provision of a more precise ‘dispatchable’ location, regardless of the platform used to call, will give first responders the information they need to locate callers in need. I think the Orleans Parish Communications District for shining light on these important deadlines.”

The Orleans Parish Communications District in New Orleans recently began efforts to encourage local businesses to transition their phone systems to support direct-dial rules.

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