FreePBX New E911 Compliance Features

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?

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.)

Is this a requirement in Canada ?

Unless you become the next 10 states no…

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I would check within Canada as they have ng911 and it seems there are some new things happening with that from some quick searches I did a few weeks back.

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How would it be possible to setup an extension or group to be paged when someone calls 911 on any phone in the organisation as spoken about sending notifications to front desk or security office?

Update your System, that is already a standard feature now.

I have updated it and now see I can choose notification. Is there a way to send sms and email when someone calls 911/999 instead of just paging

Not without custom dialplan. See this post for how to create an extension that sends an email: Email notification of incoming/missed call

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I placed this section in my extensions_custom.conf file and it works fine. The mail recipient can essentially be an SMS recipient by using the proper cell provider’s mail domain for this. In my example below, I am using AT&T’s.

exten => s,1,ExecIf($["${OUTNUM}"="911"]?System(echo "Ext ${AMPUSER} - ${AMPUSERCIDNAME} just placed a 911 emergency call on ${STRFTIME(%C%m%d%y%H%M)}" | mailx -r "[email protected]" -s "911 Alert from ext ${AMPUSER} - ${AMPUSERCIDNAME}" [email protected]))
exten => s,2,ExecIf($["${OUTNUM}"="933"]?System(echo "Ext ${AMPUSER} - ${AMPUSERCIDNAME} just placed a 933 test call on ${STRFTIME(%C%m%d%y%H%M)}" | mailx -r "[email protected]" -s "933 Alert from ext ${AMPUSER} - ${AMPUSERCIDNAME}" [email protected]))
exten => s,n,MacroExit()

I wonder how compliance is possible with softphone apps on mobile devices. This seems, at least in part, like a technology law written by people who still think the internet is a ‘series of tubes’.


It would take a strange combination of circumstances for this to matter. Normally, a SIP app routes 911 as a mobile voice call.

I suppose it’s possible that if you are in a location with no cellular coverage at all, but you do have Wi-Fi, and your mobile carrier does not support Wi-Fi calling, you could override normal behavior to make an emergency call.

As with any specifics such as these, it is recommended you check with your local laws to see if further information can be found. Having said that, I feel that softphones on mobile devices that are away from the main location would qualify as “off-premises” end users, which fall under what’s being discussed around paragraph 159 in this doc:

Which starts with:

159. In contrast, we conclude that MLTS providers should not be subject to the same location
requirements for off-premises MLTS calls to the extent compliance is not technically feasible. When an
MLTS end user is off-premises, the MLTS does not typically control or have access to location

And paragraph 160, which goes on to say:

160. In light of these factors, we conclude it is premature to prescribe specific standards for
location of off-premises MLTS calls when compliance with our on-site requirements would not be
technically feasible, and we therefore adopt a flexible approach that avoids imposing impossible
requirements. For off-premises 911 calls, the MLTS operator or manager must provide (1) dispatchable
location, if technically feasible, or, otherwise, either 2) manually-updated dispatchable location, or
(3) enhanced location information, which may be coordinate-based, consisting of the best available
location that can be obtained from any available technology or combination of technologies at reasonable
cost. This requirement will take effect two years from the effective date of rules adopted by this order.
The flexibility inherent in this requirement should lessen the burden and the amount of time it will take to
comply. We recognize that as a practical matter, MLTS providers are unlikely to be capable of providing
dispatchable location for most off-premises calls, and that “best-available” location information may be
limited in the near term. Nevertheless, over time this requirement will encourage development of
improved location capabilities for off-premises MLTS 911 calls. 

These are just excerpts. Please see the doc for further details and context.

I agree with your second point with a lot of this stuff. In this case, it’s like they acknowledge some devices can’t meet the current requirements based on technical feasibility, but their solution is to just give these situations a later deadline.

From a practical stance, I’d advise all mobile softphone users to consider using the cell phone’s service, or a local phone when calling 911 instead of through the softphone if feasible. Or at least have them understand the difference. Although, that type of explanation would be a good idea regardless of these new rules.

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