On October 17, 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) published a notice announcing final Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) approval and the December 16, 2012 effective date of interconnected VoIP outage reporting requirements. As noted in our February 16, 2012 Client Advisory, the FCC initially approved rules extending its existing outage reporting requirements to interconnected VoIP providers in February, subject to OMB review. Specifically, under the new rules VoIP providers are required to report outages as follows:
- Within 240 minutes of discovering that they have experienced on any facilities that they own, operate, lease, or otherwise utilize, an outage of at least 30 minutes duration that potentially affects a 9-1-1 special facility (e.g., PSAPs and related facilities), in which case they also shall notify, as soon as possible by telephone or other electronic means, any official who has been designated by the management of the affected 9-1-1 facility as the provider’s contact person for communications outages at that facility, and the provider shall convey to that person all available information that may be useful to the management of the affected facility in mitigating the effects of the outage on efforts to communicate with that facility; or
- Within 24 hours of discovering that they have experienced on any facilities that they own, operate, lease, or otherwise utilize, an outage of at least 30 minutes duration:
- That potentially affects at least 900,000 user minutes of interconnected VoIP service and results in complete loss of service; or
- That potentially affects any special offices and facilities (e.g., major military installations, key government facilities, nuclear power plants, and certain airports).
- Not later than thirty days after discovering the outage, the provider shall submit electronically a Final Communications Outage Report to the FCC. The Notification and Final reports shall comply with all of the requirements of § 4.11.
A copy of the FCC’s Report and Order can be found here.
The FCC closely monitors compliance with its outage reporting requirements and may levy significant penalties on companies that fail to comply. Clients with questions about their reporting obligations or the FCC’s rules should contact the attorney assigned to their account.