On Monday, April 27, 2020, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice (“Notice”) seeking comment on the implementation of new data fields for covered 911 service providers for the Network Outage Reporting System (“NORS”) and the 911 Reliability Certification System to improve the Bureau’s ability to assess 911 reliability (PS Docket Nos. 15-80, 13-75, 11-60). The Bureau concludes that these new fields will help the Commission identify 911 special facilities (e.g., public safety answering points (“PSAPs”)) affected by service outages, determine the effectiveness of alternative measures to circuit diversity for maintaining network reliability, recognize year-to-year improvements in 911 reliability, and ensure compliance with existing network reliability requirements.

The Bureau seeks comment on the following:

  • Modifications to NORS Forms – The Bureau proposes to modify the information requested regarding which 911 special facilities are affected by an outage and on if and how they are notified, and whether alternative measures to circuit diversity were in place for 911 special facilities. The Bureau seeks comment on alternative approaches to reduce burdens to 911 providers while ensuring accurate and robust data collections.
  • Modifications to 911 Certification Forms – The Notice proposes to modify the 911 Reliability Certification System to include explanations on how certification elements apply to providers’ networks, and to include a field to highlight network upgrades that have improved 911 reliability and performance. The Notice seeks comment on the effectiveness of these changes to the certifications, or if there are any alternative approaches to collecting this information.
  • Implementation – The Bureau will release a future Notice following the comment period to specify the changes that will be implemented in the NORS and 911 Reliability Certification System, and address any issues or alternative approaches. These changes will be effective following OMB approval, and the Bureau will work with system filers prior to the effective date to assist in compliance.

Comments are due 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.

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