FreePBX New E911 Compliance Features


#1

The purpose of this post is to introduce new FreePBX E911 features to the community and allow the community to provide feedback. The FreePBX E911 features were tested and as of today released as part of FreePBX EDGE. We are planning to push E911 features to stable no later than Friday Feb 14th 2020. Using the new FreePBX E911 features, administrators can better comply with the new E911 laws. We’d encourage constructive feedback and discussion about these features, including how they can be improved in the future in order to provide admins and users a better experience, beyond meeting the basic requirements.

Upcoming Legislative Requirements
As many of you know, there have been some new standards required for US-based MLTS (“Multi-Line Telephone Systems”) to comply with the recently enacted laws regarding calls to emergency services. These laws include Kari’s Law, and Section 506 of Ray Baum’s Act. More information can be found through this FCC.gov documentation. Here are the key points of what will now be required for qualifying systems:

  • Kari’s Law
    • Requires multi-line telephone systems to enable users to dial 911 directly, without having to dial a prefix (such as a “9”) to reach an outside line.
    • Requires multi-line telephone systems to provide notification, such as to a front desk or security office, when a 911 call is made in order to facilitate building entry by first responders.
  • Ray Baum’s Act(Section 506)
    • Ensure that “dispatchable location” information is available to the 911 operator, such as using a specific Caller ID Number that the provider has associated to the calling party’s location.

Implementation Requirements
Proper setup to meet compliance of these laws is required for FreePBX/PBXAct systems sold and installed after February 16, 2020(see paragraph 97). We still recommend system administrators to work on getting existing systems to meet these requirements to ensure a proper experience when emergency services are called. Most of the features to meet this compliance have already been available in FreePBX/PBXAct, and are being used by many. The FreePBX development team has been working on features, and improvements to help PBX Administrators more easily set up systems to be compliant.

Kari’s Law Compliance
One part of Kari’s Law is that users must be able to dial 911 directly from phones registered to the system.
This can be achieved with existing features, through creating a proper Outbound Route, and making sure a proper digitmap/dialplan is set up on the the devices to make 911 direct dialing work out of the proper trunk.

The other part of Kari’s Law requires a way for others to be notified when a call to 911 is made. For this requirement, we recommend using the Notifications feature available on an Outbound Route. This will send a Paging call to a specified group an extension dials 911, which connects the group members to the 911 call for monitoring. The group members who receive the paging call will see the 911 caller’s extension as the incoming Caller ID, which will help them know who is making the call. In the past, the Notifications feature on Outbound Routes was only available in the Paging Pro commercial module. This feature is now being made available to the open source Paging module as well.

Ray Baum’s Act Compliance
Section 506 of Ray Baum’s Act is about providing the correct Caller ID information when calling 911. Administrators can meet this requirement by properly setting up the outgoing Caller ID sent for calls to 911. It is up to the Administrator to check with the provider that the Caller ID that would be sent for 911 calls is registered with the correct “dispatchable location” data. For systems that want a specific Caller ID sent only for calls emergency services, the Emergency CID setting can be used to override Caller IDs set in other places if the Outbound Route has Type: Emergency enabled. Older versions of the product may find this setting in the Advanced section of an Extension’s Settings. It has been moved to the General section to be more easily accessible.

Hot Desking Compliance
The FreePBX team has also implemented some enhancements for Hot Desking users. In the past, Hot Desking phones were not able to place any outbound calls while no extension is logged in at the device. We wanted to create a way to let these logged-out phones make outbound emergency calls if needed. A new feature called “Hot Desk Emergency CIDs” has been added to Endpoint Manager to set this up. This will set up logged-out hot desking devices with access to make outbound calls through Outbound Routes with Type: Emergency enabled, and configure the Caller ID that will be sent out for those calls. If this feature is not utilized, Hot Desking logout behavior will remain the same as it has before.

Documentation
Please see this wiki page for further information and detailed setup instructions.

Feedback
Feel free to open an issue on issues.freepbx.org for any issues or suggestions for improvement that may come up in testing.

FreePBX E911 Team
A big thanks goes out to multiple members of the FreePBX E911 team that helped develop and test the FreePBX E911 features.

Update: The Stable versions of the following module updates have been released to be available for all.
paging 13.0.26.16, 14.0.16.2, 15.0.4.18
endpoint v13.0.133.1, v14.0.43.3, v15.0.27.3


Alternative solutions for new E911 rules in 2020
Alternative solutions for new E911 rules in 2020
E911 compliance related modules have been released
(Nenad Corbic) pinned globally #3

(Luke C) #4

Which systems will this update be available for?(I.E. 12, 13, 14, 15, etc.)


(Kapil Gupta) #5

Its available for 13, 14 and 15. Please refer to E911 FreePBX wiki for more information.


(Speedy01) #6

Thanks for this! Please consider adding CID mapping based on endpoint ip. I have a use case for this, and I have posted my workaround for the issue here.


(Itzik) #7

How does one go with a PJSIP extension in two locations?


#8

Unless the phones are on the same desk as each other or in the same room, this would be a good reason not to use PJSIP’s multiple-contact-per-aor feature.


#9

Good point @PitzKey, been discussing this exact scenario tonight. We’re in the UK and not subject to this, but an end user we have has an extension with 4 endpoints, for example. How we would manage that I don’t know, it needs some thought. At least we don’t charge “per extension” so we could therefore encourage multiple extensions to comply. Funny how it came up here when we were discussing it kind of off topic.


(Jared Busch) #10

To me, this should recognize AOR. PJSIP knows the actual IP of each AOR. The new e911 solutinos should understand that and cause some kind of verification when registering fomr an unknown IP.


#11

I’ve included support for subnet ID based caller ID selection in the most recent version of Already Be Conferencing v16g (an earlier version of ABC was discussed in this other thread.) Example FreePBX integration scenarios are included as well.


#12

I agree that we’ll eventually want a way to set separate emergency caller ids for each device when multiple AORs are used for the same pjsip extension through the Max Contacts setting. It’s definitely a good point to bring up here. However, that is not available at this time.


(Tgross) #13

I’m trying to determine the granularity that’s required by this law in the location information. Currently, our state only requires the street address of the building. Having read through some of the documentation, it appears to be somewhat nebulous what the requirement is beyond that.

Does anyone have a more precise definition of what the “dispatchable location” is supposed to be?


#14

I agree that the documents regarding this stuff do tend to be nebulous about various things. As far as the dispatchable location, the description I’ve been seeing has been similar to what you’ve read. For example:
“Dispatchable location information includes the street address of the caller and additional information, such as room or floor number, necessary to adequately locate the caller.”
(1st paragraph in https://www.fcc.gov/911-dispatchable-location)

As general as it is, I think that makes sense for the purpose of how it will be used. Others may have more info about it that they can share. For another source, I’d check with your provider to see what they have to say while making sure it’s properly set up for your Caller IDs.


(Tgross) #15

We use Intrado and I am able to control the address down to the specifics by DID. What I’m trying to determine though is if I need to immediately inventory & map down to the floor and room# to be in compliance or if the street address is sufficient for now.


(Jared Busch) #16

Check with your state. They have likely already ruled on this.


#17

The rules are intentionally vague. See paragraphs 141 and 142 of


However I’ve seen commentary in various places (which may or may not be reliable) stating:
A street address is adequate for a single-family home, even if it has multiple floors.
A hotel requires that the room be identified.
A street address is adequate for a very small business occupying all of a one floor building (cities and states generally specify a square footage limit).
A business in an office building must at least identify the floor and suite, with possible additional requirements depending on size.


(Moussa) #18

Is “dispatchable location” set in the FreePBX or with the SIP provider?


(Jared Busch) #19

It depends.

Most PSAP do not, yet, accept additional information.

Instead they only use a database (name escaping me at the moment) of verified addresses.

When you verify a DID with an address in your provider’s system, they update that database.

So currently, almost all providers only offer the option of one dispatchable location per DID.


#21

Please search for other threads regarding 911 in the forum. This thread is not the only possible solution. There are several competing ideas which directly address your question on “dispatchable location”. Some of them are more respectful of your users’ privacy than others.

Unfortunately, yes, and, most solutions at this time require pre-registration of the address with the provider, which then (often) gets outsourced to another company(s) maintaining nationwide databases, therefore it is a major privacy concern because one rogue PSAP operator any where in the country can (potentially) dip in there to get information on previously un-disclosed address information for any VoiP number eg. CEO cottage address, telecommuter apartment number, etc.

If you do decide to go the route of one DID per Dispatchable Location , then please consider making it a new DID that is not published anywhere eg. not on your business card, website, etc. (Although this is not fool proof either because the phone company might still publish that number in some other context – only you would know that it is a “secret” 911 only DID/CID.)


#22

Is this a requirement in Canada ?