FCC Seeks Comments on the Competitive Provision of 911 Network Services


On June 4, 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Public Notice requesting comments on the competitive provision of the 911 network to Public Safety Access Points (“PSAPs”) and other public safety agencies.

This policy issue arose in the context of consolidated arbitration proceedings between Intrado, Inc. (“Intrado”), a telecommunications carrier (and provider of “competitive” emergency 911 services), various incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”), and competitive local exchange carriers (“CLECs”).Intrado sought interconnection with the ILECs and CLECs for the primary purpose of offering emergency 911 services–including a competitive alternative to the 911 network currently provided to PSAP‘s and other public safety agencies.

The Intrado arbitration proceedings raised a number of contractual issues specific to the parties involved in the dispute.However, the arbitration proceedings also implicated a more general policy issue regarding the competitive provision of 911 voice services.Resolution of the general policy issue in the context of the arbitration proceedings, which remain pending at the FCC, could have a significant impact on persons and entities that are not parties to the proceedings–including PSAPs, competitive carriers, Commercial Mobile Radio Services (CMRS) providers, and others.Therefore, the FCC is now seeking public comment on the specific issue of how competition in the provision of the 911 network to the PSAPs and other public safety agencies would impact the provision of public safety services.


Affected clients are advised to monitor these proceedings, WC 08-33 and WC 08-185, as they unfold.Comments responding to the Public Notice are due on July 6, 2009. Reply Comments are due on July 21, 2009. Clients wishing to file comments with the FCC should contact Jonathan Marashlian at: jsm@commlawgroup.com or 703-714-1313.

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