Kari’s Law & Ray Baum Requirements, Resources, & Implementation

Act now. In Effect January 6, 2022

School Phones must be able to Dial Direct 911

An IT Leadership View of Kari's Law & Ray Baum Act

Three Requirements to Successful Compliance
1. Kari's Law
Dial 911 Requiring NO other Digits
In Effect Now
2. Kari's Law
Alert Security and Administration
In Effect Now
3. Ray Baum Act
Identify Location of Calling Device
In Effect January 6, 2022
Kari's Law
Tragedy Turns Into Action
The Background of Kari's Law.
A nine-year-old girl  dialed 911 four times as her mother was attacked. Not one of her calls went through because the hotel phone required guests to dial a “9” before calling outside the hotel—even for 911.

Kari’s Law was created after Kari Hunt was stabbed 21 times by her estranged husband on December 1, 2013, in a Texas motel bathroom while her three children were on the other side of the door. Her daughter tried four times unsuccessfully to dial 911, unaware that the hotel telephone system required dialing an additional access digit, “9,” to reach an outside line.

Kari’s daughter also told two hotel employees that she needed help. Unfortunately neither employee spoke English. They did not come to her aid or inform the hotel manager of the situation.

After public outcries over Hunt’s death, and the tireless efforts of Hunt’s father, Congress took action and enacted Kari’s Law in 2018. Kari’s Law requires phone systems to notify the front desk, security office or other designated authoritative personnel when someone has placed a 911 call from the facility. The law took effect in 2020, allowing businesses time to prepare.

Kari's Law& Ray Baum Act
Can This Happen to
Your School?

There’s an emergency somewhere in your building. a 911 call has been placed but communication cut off. Where is the caller? NOW!

It’s a situation no school, company, or anyone wants to ever imagine: One of your employees suffers a medical episode and is in extreme distress. They phone 911 from their cubicle, and wait eagerly for help. First responders arrive and understand the call was made from your company’s switchboard — but, unfortunately, the precise location of the stricken employee is not recorded, and valuable minutes are wasted while paramedics go from office to office, looking for the ill associate.

Kari's Law
What Is Kari’s Law?
no barriers dialing 911. make sure someone knows.
Kari’s Law amends the original Telecommunications Act of 1934 as well as its 1996 overhaul. The law and FCC rules to enact both Kari’s Law and the RAY BAUM’S Act mandate that Enhanced 911 (E911) accessibility and notification be part of every aspect of a telephone system.
1. Direct Dial 911

Systems must support direct dialing of 911 without having to dial any prefix or access code. AND must ensure that the system supports 911 direct dialing, but must also convey notification that a 911 call has been made.

2. Notify Central Location

All 911 calls must provide notification to the front desk, security, and/or administrative personnel. When a 911 call is placed, the system must notify a central location on or off-site and is likely to seen or heard. Notification shall include, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Declaration of the 911 
  • A valid callback number
  • Caller’s location
Ray Baum Act
What Is Ray Baum Act?
ensure dispatchers know where 911 callers are.
3. Dispatchable Location

Named in honor of Ray Baum, the RAY BAUM’S Act is also an acronym that stands for Repack Airwaves Yielding Better Access for Users of Modern Services. While the Act in its entirety includes many different communications-related initiatives, Section 506 of the Act is particularly focused on 911 emergency services.

Under Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act, the Commission has adopted rules to ensure that “dispatchable location” is conveyed with 911 calls to dispatch centers, regardless of the technological platform used, including 911 calls from MLTS. Dispatchable location means a location delivered to the PSAP with a 911 call that consists … necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party. (47 CFR § 9.3.) 

According to the FCC, the “dispatchable location” is the street address, and if applicable information such as room number, floor number, etc. Information necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party is required

Kari's Law
What Are the Requirements Under Kari’s Law?
no barriers dialing 911. make sure someone knows.
Direct dialing of 911 is required.  Onsite notification of a 911 call as it occurs. Keeping school Children, Teachers, Staff, and Visitors Safe. Failure to comply with Kari’s Law schools are  subject to fines and other penalties that increase each day of continued noncompliance. 
Kari’s Law Requirements.
  • Direct dialing of 911. Phone systems often require users to dial a prefix, such as nine, to direct a call outside the building. Users such as students, temporary teachers do not know the prefix and attempts to dial 911 directly, the call will not go through. Kari’s Law insures no barriers to 911 dialing. 
  • Onsite notification of a 911 call as it occurs. Phone systems must also notify the office, school or hotel a 911 call is in process. The notification must occur at the time the call is placed and can take multiple forms monitor prompts, audible alarms, SMS notification, and emails distribution.
Kari’s Law Compliance is critical.
  • Keeping school Children, Teachers,  Staff, and Visitors Safe: This is the most crucial reason to make sure your school is compliant with Kari’s Law. In an emergency, your Children, Teachers,  Staff, and Visitors will be able to reach 911 and get immediate help.
  • Financial security: Schools that do not comply with Kari’s Law will be subject to fines and other penalties that increase with each day the business continues its noncompliance
Ray Baum Act
What Are the Requirements Under Ray Baum Act?
ensure dispatchers know where 911 callers are.
Ray Baum Act  Requirements.
  • Transmission of critical data: Phone systems must transmit critical data directly to 911 centers, including data about the “dispatchable location” from which the call has been placed. This information helps first responders find the callers quickly and easily and allows for invaluable reductions in waiting time. 
  • The language of Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act directed the FCC to conclude a proceeding aimed at improving MLTS dispatchable location information provided to public safety at the time of a 911 call. In the FCC’s proceeding that followed, it determined that dispatchable location includes a street address, but should also include more granular information such as building number, floor, suite, room, or other available relevant location information that can best assist emergency responders.
  • Both Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’S Act deal with E911 and MLTS. Fixed telephony, interconnected VoIP, Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), and mobile text service are all subject to FCC rules under Section 506 of RAY BAUM’s act.
Kari's Law& Ray Baum Act
How Does My Business Become Compliant?
no barriers dialing 911. make sure someone knows.
ensure dispatchers know where 911 callers are.
Compliant Telephony, Software,  or Upgrades, Properly Configured E911, NG911, Completely Tested New Data.
1. Where does your Multi-line Phone System stand today?

PBX systems switch calls between enterprises and provides access to shared external phone lines. Other multi-line telephone phone systems have many different lines to different users or departments. An assessment must be made to determine if the system can route calls directly to 911 centers without requiring prefix. Once determined teh pathways become clear.

2. Compliant Telephony, Software,  or Upgrades

After February 2020 all telephone systems manufactured, imported, sold or leased must comply with the regulations. You do have to purchase new hardware, but when that times comes equipment sold will be compliant. 

Alternatives include updating existing hardware with new application software and upgrades that together make your system compliant with the law. 

3. Properly Configure Your E911

FCC’s E911 rules did not historically apply to multi-line phone systems. Multi-line phone systems often provide only the system contact information. and often do not provide specific location of the caller.  Schools must also ensure that any new system implements E911 technology and provides individual caller information. E911 availability is irrelevant, E911 must be properly configured and operative.

Enhanced 911 (E911) automatically provides the call location to 911 centers, along with a callback number. According to the FCC, since its implementation, E911 conveys information in circumstances when the caller cannot communicate the emergency location verbally or when the call suddenly drops.

4. Use NG911

NG911 is a national movement to replace outdated emergency communications infrastructure with new IP-enabled functionality providing critical situational awareness directly to

  • Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and first responders
  • This new functionality must be capable of transporting
  • voice, multimedia data, and geospatial location information
  • Enterprise networks will detect and immediately route
  • Emergency call requests, no matter where or how the
  • device is connected, while providing internal command
  • and control dashboards for event management tracking,
  • acknowledgement, and escalation as needed

NG911 allows for IP-specific functionality that can transmit geospatial data along with voice and multi-media data. This data goes to a national clearinghouse and can then be sent directly to public safety answering points (PSAPs) like 911 call centers. From there, it goes to first responders.

5. Test Your New System’s Data

Endpoints need to be tested to ensure that the correct emergency location information will be conveyed to public safety during 911 calls. Such testing might ordinarily require contacting and coordinating with appropriate 911 call centers, but an easy to use alternative testing service (“933”) exists. The publicly available 933 testing service allows schools to test the emergency calling capabilities on their phones without actually dialing 911 (which may otherwise risk detracting resources from true emergencies).