Is Your Microsoft Teams Deployment E911 Ready?

Is Your Microsoft Teams Deployment E911 Ready?

Enhancements to Microsoft Teams’ native capabilities as well as available SIP services will enable compliance with new regulations.

Two new federal regulations, Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’s Act, are set to take effect early next year. Each requires enterprise IT leaders to take proactive action to ensure compliance.

  • Kari’s Law requires that any organization operating a multiline telephone system (MLTS), either circuit-switched or VoIP, must enable callers to dial 911 without requiring a prefix, such as an 8 or 9. Kari’s Law also requires that whenever a 911 call is made, the system must notify a central location, another person, or an organization, such as a security desk or remote monitoring service.
  • RAY BAUM’s Act, short for the “Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services Act of 2018,” amends the Communications Act of 1934 to reauthorize appropriations for the Federal Communications Commission. As part of this reauthorization, Section 506 of the law, and subsequent FCC rulemaking, requires that 911 calls are transmitted to the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) with “dispatchable location” information defined as “the street address of the calling party, and additional information such as room number, floor number, or similar information necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party.” In a typical office environment, this could include building, floor, wing, office, cubicle, or other location information allowing first responders, and in-building security personnel, to know the exact location of the person calling 911.

Until recently, organizations using Microsoft Teams as their phone system had limited options to ensure compliance. Teams natively only supported the ability to route 911 calls based on a pre-defined emergency location address associated with a phone number. That is, Teams users had to define their address, and then manually update it as they moved. This approach leads to obvious challenges as most Teams users are leveraging the Teams client on a PC, laptop, tablet, or phone to take advantage of the ability to communicate and collaborate from virtually anywhere. Last month, Microsoft enabled Dynamic 911 support for both Calling Plan and Direct Routing, but only for U.S.-based phone numbers. As explained in this Microsoft document, Dynamic 911 enables real-time location determination of a 911 caller to ensure proper PSAP call routing and location reporting.

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