The FCC thankfully decided that customers who have not acknowledged the limitations of their VoIP 911 service will not be cut off. I have complained about disconnecting customers in the past. You just can’t penalize VoIP customers for something that is not their fault and the window of compliance was exceedingly short. Thankfully there has been an extension and as you can see below a further extension. I had mentioned before that the FCC would not shut customers off and it seems like I was right. What they have done is scare service providers out of their minds so they get to customers ASAP. They then grant extensions – assuming you are doing your best to comply. I am looking forward to next month’s Internet Telephony conference where we will be able to discuss the recent events regarding regulation, the FCC, VoIP and E911.
Take a look at my comments from August 15th of this year where I said the FCC will change the rules. Read all the way down to see what I mean. There is too much liability to just turn customers off. The FCC knows this but they really scared the industry into rapid compliance.
IP-Enabled Services and E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, First Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 10245 (rel. Jun 3, 2005) at ¶¶ 48, 73 (VoIP E911 Order); see also 47 C.F.R. § 9.5(e).
The Bureau has reviewed numerous reports that interconnected VoIP providers filed on August 10, September 1 and September 22. See Public Notice, (DA 05-2085) released
Released: September 27, 2005
Enforcement Bureau Provides Further Guidance to
Interconnected Voice Over Internet Protocol Service Providers
Concerning Enforcement of Subscriber Acknowledgement Requirement
WC Docket No. 04-36
WC Docket No. 05-196
In this Public Notice, the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) provides additional guidance concerning its intended enforcement of the subscriber affirmative acknowledgement requirement placed on interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers in the Commission’s VoIP E911 Order. After considering the reports submitted to us by interconnected VoIP providers detailing their compliance with the Commission’s notification requirements, it is evident that many providers have devoted significant resources to notifying each of their subscribers of the limitations of their 911 service and obtaining acknowledgements from each of their subscribers. Specifically, by repeatedly prompting subscribers through a variety of means, the majority of providers submitting September reports have obtained acknowledgments from nearly all, if not all, of their subscribers. For example, the September reports indicate that at least 21 providers have received acknowledgments from 100 percent of their subscribers and at least 32 others have obtained acknowledgements from 90 percent or more of their subscribers. In recognition of these substantial efforts and the very high percentage of received acknowledgments, the Bureau announces that it will not pursue enforcement action against such providers. We do, however, expect these providers will continue seeking the remaining acknowledgements and will notify the Commission once they have achieved 100% compliance.
To the extent that a provider has not received acknowledgements from at least 90% of its subscribers, we intend to continue forbearing from enforcement of our acknowledgment requirement until October 31, 2005, provided that these providers submit a status report to us by October 25, 2005. This status report should detail the efforts that they have undertaken to obtain acknowledgments from the remainder of their subscriber base, explain why they have been unable to achieve an acknowledgment percentage closer to 100%, and provide the current percentage of acknowledgments that they have received as of the date of filing.