Today’s blog post was written by VirtualPBX COO Lon Baker, whose expertise with the VirtualPBX Phone System makes him an excellent pick for the discussion of Kari’s Law and its implementation.
In 2013, a tragedy took the life of Kari Hunt Dunn. Out of this tragedy arose Kari’s Law, which was passed in 2016 by the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 408-0 and followed with unanimous consent by the U.S. Senate.
Kari’s Law requires that all phone systems be able to recognize “911” to reach emergency services – without requiring the user to dial a prefix. VirtualPBX has always provided this capability for all its VoIP users across the U.S. and is proud to partner with Intrado to ensure customer safety and security through reliable and accurate E911 services.
No More “9” for Outside Line
Kari’s Law requires phone systems to be configured in a way that allows people to call 911 without dialing any additional number, code, prefix, or post-fix, regardless of location or device.
It has long been standard practice for private phone systems to require the dialing of an extra digit to reach an outside line. An internal call could be completed by dialing the extension “555”, for example
But to dial an external phone number that begins with those same digits — like 555-1234 — “9-555-1234” could need to be entered.
Dunn’s fate was tied to this phone system requirement when, in need of emergency services at a hotel in 2013, her young daughter was unable to complete a call to 911 for her. Kari’s Law removes the need for extra dialing when an emergency call must be placed.
What Businesses Must Know
VirtualPBX is continuously improving its E911 implementation to meet and exceed industry best practices and legal requirements. Our phone system is in full compliance with the fundamental requirements of Kari’s Law.
Other businesses that deploy multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) will want to be aware of the following dates:
- Existing businesses must comply with the requirements of Kari’s Law by February 16, 2020
- Enterprises with fixed MTLS phones are to comply with the new requirements by January 6, 2021
- Businesses with non-fixed MLTS devices on- and off-premises must comply no later than January 6, 2022
Kari’s Law and the Future
While Kari’s Law is just the latest of important E911 communications legislation to be passed, there will certainly be future protections laid out in law in the years to come.
VirtualPBX will remain dedicated to working with its partners to stay compliant with all communications standards as they arise.