The FCC is considering rules that would require voice service providers to deliver calls to 911 centers in IP format over IP networks. The commission also is asking for input on the cost of compliance.
Providers would be required to do this in response to a request from a call center that has upgraded to NG911 capability. Doing so is necessary to complete the NG911 transition, the FCC said in a press release.
As the commission noted, NG911 supports new capabilities such as text, video and data, as well as improved interoperability and system resilience.
The proposed rules would apply to “wireline, interconnected voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and internet-based telecommunications relay service (TRS) providers,” the FCC.
The commission previously proposed similar rules for wireless service providers.
Provider NG911 Implementation Costs
In a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) adopted on Thursday, the FCC asks for feedback on the proposed requirements and on implementation costs.
The commission estimates the one-time costs of connecting to an IP-based ESINet at $103,000 per provider. The ESINet is the network that carries traffic to NG911 call centers.
In addition, providers that don’t have IP switching facilities may need to hire a third party to transport their TDM calls in IP format to the ESINet. The FCC estimates that this would be a concern for about 8.5% of rural wireline providers. The estimate is based on data from NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association stating that 91.5% of rural wireline providers already have IP switching facilities.
Extrapolating this to the entire U.S., the FCC estimates annual transport costs at $11.6 million for all providers that would incur those costs.
In comments made at Thursday’s monthly commission meeting, where the NPRM was adopted, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel recommended that Congress direct revenues from the next wireless spectrum auctions to “a new nationwide fund to support the transition to next-generation 911.”
Her comments appeared to suggest that funding would go toward the cost of updating NG911 call centers. I didn’t see anything in the NPRM suggesting that funding might go to service providers to enable them to deliver calls in IP format to upgraded NG911 call centers.