E911 compliance with a hybrid workforce | Webinar recap
Miss our webinar? No sweat! Catch the highlights of our discussion with E911 experts from Bandwidth and Metrigy.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a 911 compliance easy button? For enterprises juggling multi-vendor communications environments, a remote workforce, and evolving federal regulations, regulatory complexity compounds quickly.
And while we’re not lawyers and we can’t offer legal guidance, we can point you towards some best practices and lessons learned while helping other enterprises achieve E911 compliance in 2022.
In this webinar recap, we’ll hit the highlights:
- What E911 regulations to think about, and what they require
- Challenges in the way of E911 compliance
- The emerging best practice for location self-provisioning
- What’s missing from your 911 stack today
- How to go above and beyond for workplace safety
New E911 regulations have passed, and adoption takes time
Many companies are still figuring out what E911 compliance looks like for them, especially with a nomadic workforce. Legal and IT teams are still navigating the shifting compliance landscape across contexts. If you haven’t started, you’re not alone.
In fact, webinar attendees reported that only 24.4% are compliant with RAY BAUM’s Act and Kari’s Law, 24.4% have no idea, and 51.1% are still working towards compliance:
|A brief overview of Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act|
There are two major 911 regulations that businesses operating in the U.S. are required to comply with: RAY BAUM’s Act and Kari’s Law.
RAY BAUM’s Act requires a dispatchable location of Address line 1 and Address line 2 (which is a free text field). As of January 6, 2022, businesses must provide public safety responders a dispatchable 911 location, a call-back number, and a name for both in-office and nomadic employees.
Kari’s Law requires that beginning on February 16, 2021, every Multi-Line Telephony Systems (MLTS) routes 911 calls without additional digits for an outside line. In addition, designated personnel (like a security desk) must be notified that a 911 call was placed, and where it came from.
These laws are applicable to enterprises with employees in the U.S. and are especially important for companies with multiple office locations, campuses, including K-12, universities and colleges, hospitals, hotels, retail facilities, financial institutions, and warehouses.
The definition of compliance depends on context, and confusion exists around requirements
Most, if not all, cloud communications platforms have developed compliant emergency calling services. However, enterprises still using legacy on-prem equipment need additional software partners for compliant E911 calling. Paired with the ambiguous definition of complexity, that’s a lot to work through.
The short answer? It just depends. That’s why it’s important to talk to an expert.
Hybrid and on-prem communications adoption are tied, with cloud adoption lagging
When polled, 43.9% of webinar attendees reported having on-premise communications, with another 43.9% hybrid and only 12.2% fully cloud.
Many enterprises are moving to the cloud with a hybrid approach, and it’s challenging to completely remove on-prem, legacy comms systems.
Over the last two years, many enterprises have started to take their telecom and e911 into their own hands—adopting cloud communications while still owning their PSTN connectivity to lower costs and gain back control over numbers, call flows, and more. This approach is called Bring Your Own Carrier (BYOC), which you can learn about here.
Best practice: Give your employees control over their 911 calling and location management through a third-party software
RAY BAUM’s Act and Kari’s law explain what to do, but not how to achieve compliance.
Because there’s no one-size-fits-all path to compliance, businesses with multi-vendor communications environments and hybrid employees are creating custom solutions to allow for location provisioning in these three steps.
- Map out your current comms stack
Examine all of your communications systems and enable 911 across each one. Understanding what you’re working with will help you avoid mistakes in the future. If you have a multi-vendor environment across on-prem and cloud solutions like Avaya, Cisco, and Microsoft Teams, your 911 solution will look different than if you’re using one system.
- Identify the right E911 network solution
Assess your current 911 environment and network connectivity options. Your unified communications & contact center platforms need access to a foundational E911 network for connectivity to public safety answering points (PSAPs). This allows your employees to send 911 calls, and your network can connect those calls to the nearest PSAP.
- Add the right software for location self-provisioning
The last piece to this puzzle is a software partner. The right one can augment your emergency calling capabilities, from preventing 911 misdials to enabling address self-provisioning. This third-party 911 software is absolutely essential for businesses with nomadic employees, as employees move around and may work from a new location every day.
|About the 911 access network|
With over 6,000 across the U.S., it’s hard to get these calls into call centers as a native 911 call. Bandwidth has different solutions for these different use cases, including E911 for VoIP & Unified Communications and E911 Dynamic Location Routing (DLR).
Keeping your employees and customers protected on legacy equipment requires third-party solutions
The majority of our webinar attendees using on-prem communications rely on Cisco products (at 48.8%). 24.4% reported using Avaya products, tied with ‘Other’. 2.4% reported using Mitel, and 0% reported using Broadworks.
Wherever you fall into these results, there’s a 911 solution that can close the compliance gap.
Each third-party software works differently because each communications solution has a different set of features and functionality. In the end, it’s about making sure your employees have the ability to place 911 calls successfully—no matter where they’re at or what they’re on.
|Where it works||Cisco phone systems|
BroadWorks and BroadCloud
Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM)
Don’t stop at compliant E911 calling—dig deeper with these questions
Even if you’re compliant, use these questions as a guide to improve your emergency outcomes:
- Do you know what your first responders need from you?
- Have you addressed mobile device users?
- Have you considered how 911 call information is relayed to incident response teams?
- Do your 911 capabilities apply evenly to employees and contractors, across all locations?
- Do employees and contractors understand potential limitations, especially for remote employees?
- Have you addressed the needs of those without dedicated phone numbers?
- Can you successfully route 911 calls from remote employees to the proper ECC/PSAP?
Do your due diligence, implement the best possible emergency solution, and have your processes well-documented with your legal team. When a workplace emergency happens, you can never be too prepared.