[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 12 (Friday, January 17, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3123-3133]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00958]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 0, 4, and 12

[PS Docket No. 13-75; PS Docket No. 11-60; FCC 13-158]


Improving 9-1-1 Reliability; Reliability and Continuity of 
Communications Networks, Including Broadband Technologies

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC 
or Commission) adopts rules to improve the reliability and resiliency 
of 911 communications networks nationwide by requiring that 911 service 
providers take ``reasonable measures'' to provide reliable 911 service. 
Providers subject to the rule can comply with the reasonable measures 
requirement by either implementing certain industry-backed ``best 
practices'' the Commission adopted, or by implementing alternative 
measures that are reasonably sufficient to ensure reliable 911 service. 
The FCC also requires 911 service providers to provide public safety 
answering points (PSAPs) with timely and actionable notification of 911 
outages.

DATES: Effective February 18, 2014 except for Sec.  12.4(c) and (d)(1), 
which contain information collection requirements that have not been 
approved by Office of Management and Budget. The Federal Communications 
Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing 
the effective date.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric P. Schmidt, Attorney Advisor, 
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 418-1214 or 
eric.schmidt@fcc.gov. For additional information concerning the 
Paperwork Reduction Act information collection requirements contained 
in this document, contact Benish Shah, (202) 418-7866, or send an email 
to PRA@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Report 
and Order in PS Docket No. 13-75 and PS Docket No. 11-60, FCC 13-158, 
released on December 12, 2013. The full text of this document is 
available for public inspection during regular business hours in the 
FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 
20554, or online at http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-rules-improve-911-reliability.

I. Introduction

    1. The Commission was spurred to adopt these rules following the 
devastating impact many telecommunications networks experienced as a 
result of the unanticipated ``derecho'' storm in June 2012. This storm 
swiftly struck the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic United States, leaving 
millions of Americans without 911 service and revealing significant, 
but avoidable, vulnerabilities in 911 network architecture, 
maintenance, and operation. After a comprehensive inquiry into the 
causes of 911 outages during the derecho, as well as 911 network 
reliability more generally, the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland 
Security Bureau (PSHSB or Bureau) determined that many of these 
failures could have been mitigated or avoided entirely through 
implementation of network-reliability best practices and other sound 
engineering principles.
    2. The Commission requires 911 service providers to take 
``reasonable measures'' to provide reliable 911 service, based on best 
practices developed by the FCC's Communications Security, Reliability, 
and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) advisory committee, with 
refinements designed to add clarity and specific guidance regarding how 
those practices should be implemented in the context of 911 networks. 
Providers will demonstrate their compliance by filing an annual 
certification. The certification elements the Commission are based on 
best practices identified by CSRIC as critical or highly important, 
indicating that they significantly reduce the potential for a 
catastrophic failure of communications or--at a minimum--improve the 
likelihood of emergency call completion.
    3. The Commission seeks to maximize flexibility and account for 
differences in network architectures without sacrificing 911 service 
reliability. Accordingly, service providers that certify annually that 
they have implemented certain industry-backed ``best practices,'' will 
be deemed to satisfy the reasonable measures requirement. Providers may 
also certify that they have taken alternative measures reasonably 
sufficient in light of the provider's particular facts and 
circumstances to ensure reliable 911 service, so long as they briefly 
describe such measures and provide supporting documentation to the 
Commission. Similarly, service providers may respond by demonstrating 
that a particular certification element is not applicable to their 
networks, but they must include a brief explanation of why the element 
does not apply.
    4. Based on the information included in the certifications, the 
Commission may require remedial action to correct vulnerabilities in a 
service provider's 911 network if it determines that (a) the service 
provider has not, in fact, adhered to the best practices incorporated 
in our rules or, (b) in the case of providers employing alternative 
measures, that those measures were not reasonably sufficient to 
mitigate the associated risks of failure in one or more of these three 
key areas. The Commission delegates authority to the Bureau to review 
certification information and follow up with service providers as 
appropriate to address deficiencies revealed by the certification 
process.
    5. The FCC also amends its outage reporting rules under part 4 to 
clarify Covered 911 Service Providers' obligations to provide PSAPs 
with timely and actionable notification of outages affecting 911 
service.

II. Background

A. 911 Network Architecture

    6. The primary function of the 911 network is to route emergency 
calls to the geographically appropriate PSAP based on the caller's 
location. When a caller dials 911 on a wireline telephone, the call 
goes to the local switch serving that caller, as is typical with any 
other call. The local switch then sends the call to an aggregation 
point called a selective router, which uses the caller's phone number 
and address to determine the appropriate PSAP to which the call should 
be sent. Calls to 911 from wireless phones flow through a switch called 
a mobile switching center before reaching the selective router. For 
wireless calls, the sector of the cell tower serving the call provides 
the approximate location of the caller and is used to determine to 
which PSAP the call is sent. To complete the call, a connection is set 
up between the selective router and the appropriate PSAP, typically 
through a central office serving that PSAP.
    7. Once a 911 call reaches the appropriate PSAP, the PSAP queries 
an automatic location information (ALI) database to determine the 
location of the caller. For wireline calls, ALI is based on the address 
associated with the caller's phone number. For wireless calls, 
providers use various technologies to determine the caller's location. 
Because ALI is passed to the PSAP

[[Page 3124]]

along a different path than the one carrying 911 calls, it is possible 
for a PSAP to lose ALI links without losing 911 service completely.
    8. The 911 network architecture described above is evolving from a 
circuit-switched network to a Next Generation 911 (NG911) network based 
on Internet protocol (IP) technology. NG911 networks offers certain 
advantages over legacy technologies, including greater redundancy and 
reliability, the ability to provide more useful information for first 
responders, wider public accessibility (including to those with 
disabilities), and enhanced capabilities for sharing data and resources 
among emergency responders.

B. FCC Approach to Communications Reliability

    9. The Commission has generally approached communications 
reliability issues by working with service providers to develop 
voluntary best practices and by measuring the effectiveness of those 
best practices through outage reporting. For example, federal advisory 
committees such as CSRIC, which includes representatives from both 
industry and public safety organizations, have developed numerous 
network-reliability best practices that communications providers have 
been encouraged to adopt on a voluntary basis. Since 1992, the 
Commission has turned to CSRIC and its predecessors, the Network 
Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC) and Media Security and 
Reliability Council (MSRC), to make recommendations on communications 
network and system reliability and security. Because of the 
collaborative and consensus-based nature of this process, CSRIC's best 
practices generally involve aspects of service that providers have 
indicated they were already adopting consistently.
    10. The Commission's mandatory Network Outage Reporting System 
(NORS) and voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) 
provide outage data that help gauge whether best practices have been 
implemented in certain circumstances or service areas, but the 
Commission has not required service providers to implement these 
practices. From time to time, however, the Bureau has publicly reminded 
911 service providers of the importance of following industry-developed 
best practices in light of outage trends suggesting to the Bureau that 
they have not been implemented adequately. The Bureau also works with 
service providers on an informal basis to identify and resolve 
communications reliability issues revealed through the outage reporting 
process.

C. June 2012 Derecho

    11. On June 29, 2012, a fast-moving derecho storm brought a wave of 
destruction across wide swaths of the United States, beginning in the 
Midwest and continuing through the Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states 
until the early morning of June 30. The derecho resulted in twenty-two 
deaths and widespread property damage, and left millions of residents 
without electrical power for as long as two weeks. While the 
destruction caused by the derecho resembled that of other major storms 
in some respects, it also proved different in others. For example, the 
landfall of a hurricane is typically predicted days in advance, 
allowing first responders and communications providers time to prepare. 
In contrast, the derecho moved rapidly across multiple states with very 
little warning, putting critical infrastructure to an unexpected test 
and revealing significant vulnerabilities in service providers' 
networks and operations.
    12. The derecho's effects were particularly severe in northern 
Virginia, where four PSAPs in the densely-populated National Capital 
Region lost service completely, and in West Virginia, where eleven 
PSAPs could not receive 911 calls for as long as twelve hours. Fairfax 
County, Virginia noted that the disruption of 911 service after the 
derecho was the longest and most severe 911 outage since Fairfax County 
implemented Enhanced 911 in 1988, leaving 1.1 million county residents 
without access to 911 for seven hours and preventing nearly 1,900 911 
calls from reaching the Fairfax County PSAP.

D. PSHSB Derecho Report

    13. Immediately after communications and 911 services were 
restored, the Bureau began a comprehensive inquiry to determine why 
each outage occurred and how such problems could be prevented in the 
future. The Bureau analyzed more than 500 confidential NORS reports 
containing information on the cause, duration, and resolution of each 
outage, as well as numerous DIRS reports from the areas hit hardest by 
the derecho. Bureau staff also interviewed representatives of eight 
communications providers, twenty-eight PSAPs, three battery 
manufacturers, one generator manufacturer, and numerous state and 
county entities. In addition, the Bureau participated in several 
federal, state, and local meetings and hearings on the effects of the 
derecho. These interactions clarified and expanded the information the 
Commission had already received via NORS and DIRS.
    14. In its January 2013 Derecho Report, available at http://www.fcc.gov/document/derecho-report-and-recommendations, the Bureau 
announced the results of its inquiry and provided specific 
recommendations for Commission action to improve the reliability and 
resiliency of 911 networks nationwide. The Bureau found that many 
communications outages during the derecho, including 911 outages, could 
have been prevented through implementation of best practices developed 
by entities such as CSRIC and the Alliance for Telecommunications 
Industry Solutions (ATIS) Network Reliability Steering Committee 
(NRSC). The Bureau found that, above and beyond any physical 
destruction by the derecho, 911 communications were disrupted in large 
part because of avoidable planning and system failures, including 
inadequate physical diversity of critical 911 circuits and a lack of 
functional backup power in central offices.

E. 911 Reliability Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    15. On March 20, 2013, the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (911 Reliability NPRM or NPRM), available at http://www.fcc.gov/document/improving-9-1-1-reliability, which outlined 
options to implement recommendations from the Derecho Report. These 
options ranged from reporting and certification obligations, to 
mandatory reliability requirements supported by site inspections and 
compliance reviews. The NPRM also proposed to amend the Commission's 
rules to require 911 service providers, and other communications 
providers subject to the existing rule, to notify PSAPs of 
communications outages ``immediately,'' with specific information about 
the nature of the outage and area affected.

III. Discussion

A. Need for Commission Action

    16. A primary responsibility of the Commission is to make 
available, so far as possible, to all people of the United States, a 
wire and radio communication service for the purpose of promoting 
safety of life and property. Consistent with that overarching 
obligation, the Commission has specific statutory responsibilities with 
respect to 911 service. The outage reporting process has often been 
effective in improving the reliability and resiliency of many 
communications services, and the

[[Page 3125]]

Commission continues to support NORS, DIRS, and an emphasis on 
voluntary best practices and outage reporting in the context of 
everyday communications. Nevertheless, preventable 911 network failures 
during the derecho put lives and property at risk and revealed that 
service providers have not consistently implemented vital best 
practices voluntarily despite repeated reminders and their past claims 
to the contrary. In light of this experience and substantial evidence 
in the record of this proceeding, the Commission concludes that 
additional Commission action is both warranted and needed with respect 
to critical 911 communications.

B. Entities Subject to the Rules

    17. The rules adopted apply to every ``Covered 911 Service 
Provider,'' defined as any entity that provides 911, E911, or NG911 
capabilities such as call routing, ALI, ANI, or the functional 
equivalent of those capabilities, directly to a PSAP, statewide default 
answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority (as that term 
is defined elsewhere in the Commission's rules), or that operates one 
or more central offices that directly serve a PSAP. For purposes of 
these rules, a central office ``directly serves a PSAP'' if it (1) 
hosts a selective router or ALI/ANI database (2) provides functionally 
equivalent NG911 capabilities, or (3) is the last service-provider 
facility through which a 911 trunk or administrative line passes before 
connecting to a PSAP. This definition encompasses entities that provide 
capabilities to route 911 calls and associated data such as ALI and ANI 
to the appropriate PSAP, but not entities that merely provide the 
capability for customers to originate 911 calls.
    18. This definition reflects the fact that, while most current 911 
networks rely on the infrastructure of an incumbent local exchange 
carrier (ILEC), no single type of entity will always provide 911 
service in every community. In addition, the transition to an Internet 
protocol (IP) architecture for NG911 services will allow an expanded 
range of entities beyond ILECs to route and deliver 911 calls, as well 
as location and callback information, to local PSAPs or consolidated 
call centers. Consistent with the goals of the Next Generation 911 
Advancement Act of 2012, the Commission seeks to promote NG911 adoption 
and account for changing technologies that support these functions 
while ensuring that legacy 911 infrastructure remains reliable as long 
as it is in use. The Commission takes this step in recognition that 
overbroad rules could inadvertently impose obligations on entities that 
provide peripheral support for NG911 but may not play a central role in 
ensuring 911 reliability or benefit as much as a typical circuit-
switched ILEC from the best practices discussed below. To minimize the 
risk of unintended effects, the Commission describes covered entities 
in terms of the core 911 capabilities they provide rather than the 
technology they employ or how they are currently classified under our 
rules.
    19. While the FCC strongly supports the transition to NG911, it is 
not persuaded that NG911 technologies have evolved to the point that 
reliability certification rules should apply to entities beyond those 
that offer core services functionally equivalent to current 911 and 
E911 capabilities. The Commission might, however, revisit this 
distinction in the future as technology evolves, as discussed below 
with regard to review and sunset of the rules. In a similar vein, the 
FCC does not adopt a definition that covers all operators of emergency 
services Internet protocol networks (ESInets). Some ESInets may provide 
capabilities other than those at issue here, and other ESInets may be 
operated directly by PSAPs and 911 authorities. Under the rules, ESInet 
operators will be required to certify reliability only to the extent 
they qualify as Covered 911 Service Providers under our rules.

C. Implementation Approach

    20. The FCC adopts rules requiring Covered 911 Service Providers 
to: (1) Take reasonable measures to ensure reliable 911 service, and 
(2) certify annually whether they do so by adhering either to specified 
practices based on established industry consensus or to alternative 
measures demonstrated to be reasonably sufficient to mitigate the risk 
of failure. Regarding reasonable measures, the record in this 
proceeding demonstrates a number of concrete and objective indications 
of whether a service provider's practices with respect to 911 
reliability are reasonable. For example, best practices are developed 
in a ``consensus-based environment'' reflecting the collective judgment 
of industry, and other stakeholders. It follows that compliance with 
best practices is a strong indication that a service provider is taking 
reasonable measures to ensure reliable 911 service. While there may be 
situations in which it would be reasonable for a service provider to 
depart from best practices, there should be a reasonable basis for such 
decisions, coupled with appropriate steps to compensate for any 
increased risk of failure.
    21. Regarding annual certification, a Covered 911 Service Provider 
that performs and certifies all the specific certification elements 
outlined in the rules regarding 911 circuit auditing, backup power at 
central offices that directly serve PSAPs, and diverse network 
monitoring links, is not required to provide additional documentation 
to support its certification that it has met the reasonable measures 
requirement. These providers will be deemed to satisfy the obligation 
to take reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service, provided 
that the certification is accurate and complete. In the alternative, if 
a Covered 911 Service Provider cannot certify affirmatively to every 
element in a substantive area, but believes that its actions are 
nevertheless reasonably sufficient to mitigate the risk of 911 service 
failure based on the configuration of its network and other factors, 
then it may certify that it has taken alternative measures in that 
substantive area. For each element where the Covered 911 Service 
Provider certifies to taking alternative measures, it must include with 
its certification a brief explanation of those alternative measures 
with respect to each PSAP, central office, or 911 service area where 
they are in use, and why those measures are reasonable under the 
circumstances to mitigate the risk of failure. Finally, a Covered 911 
Service Provider may respond that certain elements of the certification 
do not apply to all or part of its network, but it must include with 
its certification a reasonable explanation of why those elements are 
not applicable.
    22. In addition, the Commission will require Covered 911 Service 
Providers to maintain for two years the records supporting each annual 
certification and to make relevant records available to the Commission 
upon request. For providers with existing electronic recordkeeping 
capabilities, these records must be maintained in an electronic format 
for ease of access and review. While certifications require only a 
brief description of alternative measures, the Commission reserves the 
right to request additional information, at the time of certification 
or thereafter, to verify the accuracy of a certification or determine 
whether alternative measures are reasonable. This approach lessens the 
reporting burden on service providers while ensuring that supporting 
documentation is available when necessary. Examples of such records 
include diagrams of network routing, records of circuit audits,

[[Page 3126]]

backup power deployment and maintenance records, and documentation of 
network monitoring routes and capabilities.
    23. While the FCC adopts the certification approach, it notes that 
a very high-level certification will not provide the Commission with 
either the information it needs to identify important weaknesses in 911 
networks or a reasonable basis on which to hold service providers 
accountable for decisions affecting 911 reliability. It therefore will 
require all Covered 911 Service Providers to certify annually to 
certain basic measures in the three substantive areas, and delegates to 
the Bureau the responsibility to review the certifications and take 
additional action as appropriate, and the authority and responsibility 
to develop the certification form and filing system. The reliability 
certifications will be subject to penalties for false or misleading 
statements both under the United States Code and the Commission's 
rules. The certification shall also be accompanied by a statement 
explaining the basis for such certification and shall be subscribed to 
as true under penalty of perjury in substantially the form set forth in 
section 1.16 of the Commission's rules.
    24. Certification Standards. In response to call by some commenters 
to convene a new group to develop new certification standards and 
procedures unique to these rules, the Commission notes that the process 
these commenters describe is virtually indistinguishable from the 
Commission's existing CSRIC process. These revised CSRIC best practices 
are available to stakeholders for application on a voluntary basis; the 
Commission therefore sees no reason to defer its refinement and 
implementation of these best practices in a Commission rule, in light 
of its experiences with voluntary standards.
    25. The FCC understands that, as NG911 deployment advances, the 
certification standards may have to change, and the Commission may then 
need to turn to multi-stakeholder bodies like CSRIC for recommendations 
in these areas. Accordingly, the Commission adopts certification 
standards that are consistent with current best practices but also 
flexible enough to account for differences in 911 and NG911 networks.
    26. Certifying Official. To ensure accuracy and accountability, 
each certification must be made by a corporate officer responsible for 
network operations in all relevant service areas. Thus, the certifying 
official must have supervisory and budgetary authority over a Covered 
911 Service Provider's entire 911 network, not merely certain regions 
or service areas.
    27. Effect of Certification. Under the certification process, a 
Covered 911 Service Provider that performs all the certification 
elements in a substantive area will be deemed to comply with the 
requirement to take reasonable measures in that area. This result is 
subject only to any determination the Commission or as delegated, the 
Bureau, may make afterward, based on complaints, outage reports or 
other information, that the Covered 911 Service Provider did not, in 
fact, perform as claimed in its certification. If, however, a Covered 
911 Service Provider certifies that it has taken alternative measures 
to mitigate the risk of failure, or that a certification element is not 
applicable to its network, its certification is subject to a more 
detailed Bureau review. In such cases, the Covered 911 Service Provider 
must provide an explanation of its alternative measures and why they 
are reasonable under the circumstances, or why the certification 
element is not applicable. The Bureau will consider a number of factors 
in determining whether the particular alternative measures are 
reasonably sufficient to ensure reliable 911 service. Such factors may 
include the technical characteristics of those measures, the location 
and geography of the service area, the level of service ordered by the 
PSAP, and state and local laws (such as zoning and noise ordinances). 
The Bureau may rely on information from a variety of sources, 
including: (1) The certifications and descriptions of alternative 
measures; (2) supplemental responses to Commission inquiries; (3) 
supporting records retained pursuant to the record retention 
requirement; (4) NORS and DIRS data; (5) formal and informal 
complaints; and/or (6) news reports or other information available to 
the Commission.
    28. If the Bureau's review indicates that a provider's alternative 
measures are not reasonably sufficient to ensure reliable 911 service, 
the Bureau should engage with the provider and other interested 
stakeholders (e.g., affected PSAPs) to address any shortcomings. To the 
extent that a collaborative process with a provider does not yield 
satisfactory results, the Bureau may order remedial action, consistent 
with the authority delegated in this Report and Order. Any service 
provider ordered to take remedial action may seek reconsideration or 
review of the Bureau's decision in accordance with the Commission's 
rules. In extreme cases, such as where a provider is not acting in good 
faith, the Bureau may also refer cases to the Enforcement Bureau for 
further action as appropriate. This approach will place the least 
burden on those Covered 911 Service Providers that provide consistently 
reliable 911 service, while allowing the Commission to focus its 
attention and resources where most needed.
    29. Certification Phase-In. The rules, including the underlying 
obligation to take reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service, 
become effective thirty days after publication in this Federal 
Register. Although information collection requirements pursuant to 
those rules will not become effective until approval by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 
the substantive obligation to take such reasonable measures is not 
contingent on such approval. Because certain certification elements 
(e.g., circuit diversity audits) require time for implementation, the 
first full certification will be due two years from the effective date 
of the substantive rule requiring service providers to undertake such 
reasonable measures.
    30. Although service providers indicate that they already perform 
many of the elements of our annual certification, the rules we adopt 
will require a phase-in period so that all covered entities, 
particularly smaller entities with limited staff and resources, have 
time to come into full compliance. Therefore, the FCC requires that, 
one year after the effective date of the rules, all Covered 911 Service 
Providers file an initial certification that they have made substantial 
progress toward meeting the standard of the full certification, 
``substantial progress'' in this context meaning at least 50-percent 
compliance with each of the three substantive certification 
requirements. For example, regarding circuit diversity, Covered 911 
Service Providers must certify they have conducted at least 50 percent 
of the circuit audits. The Bureau has delegated authority to implement 
this initial certification, including the form and process through 
which it is submitted. After the first full certification two years 
from the effective date of the rules, all Covered 911 Service Providers 
will file a 911 reliability certification on an annual basis.
    31. Regarding costs and benefits of the Commission's actions, the 
FCC notes that no commenter questioned the basic premise that 911 
communications provide significant public health and safety benefits, 
nor provided an alternative method of quantifying the public safety 
benefits associated with reliable 911 service. Further, the FCC 
considers it fortunate that the effects of

[[Page 3127]]

the derecho were not worse given the serious problems it revealed.
    32. The 911 Reliability NPRM estimated total costs to service 
providers of $16.1 million to $44.1 million. By relaxing or eliminating 
several of the requirements proposed in the NPRM, however, the 
Commission reduced the impact on service providers far below those 
estimates. The expected costs also are within an acceptable range of 
the $9.1 million floor value of benefits estimated in this Report and 
Order. As explained below, we estimate that the total annual 
incremental cost to service providers is approximately $9 million, 
which includes $6.4 million for circuit audit costs, $1.9 million for 
backup power costs, and $732,000 for monitoring costs. The FCC finds 
that its statutory mandate to promote the safety of life and property 
and to implement our specific statutory 911 responsibilities makes the 
benefits of reliable 911 service well worth these costs, particularly 
since the approach adopted is based on best practices developed through 
broad industry consensus.

D. Certification Requirements

a. Circuit Diversity
    33. Covered 911 Service Providers must certify annually whether 
they have, within the past year, audited the physical diversity of 
critical 911 circuits or equivalent data paths to each PSAP they serve, 
tagged those circuits to minimize the risk that they will be 
reconfigured at some future date, and eliminated all single points of 
failure between the selective router, ALI/ANI database, or equivalent 
NG911 component, and the central office serving each PSAP. In lieu of 
eliminating single points of failure, they may describe why these 
single points of failure cannot be eliminated and the specific, 
reasonably sufficient alternative measures they have taken to mitigate 
the risks associated with the lack of physical diversity.
    34. Alternatively, Covered 911 Service Providers may certify that 
they believe this element of the certification is not applicable to 
their network, although they must explain why it is not applicable. 
Under these rules, all Covered 911 Service Providers must conduct 
annual audits of the physical diversity of their critical 911 circuits 
and tag those circuits to prevent rearrangement, but they may take a 
range of corrective measures most appropriate for their networks and 
PSAP customers.
    35. Covered 911 Service Providers must also retain records of 
circuit audits for confidential review by the Commission, upon request, 
for two years.
    36. ``Critical 911 circuits'' include transmission facilities 
between a 911 selective router or its functional equivalent and the 
final point in the local exchange serving the PSAP where these 
facilities appear in the network (e.g., the main distribution frame) 
before leaving this exchange on their way to the PSAP. For purposes of 
this requirement, a selective router is a 911 network component that 
selects the appropriate destination PSAP for each 911 call based on the 
location of the caller. Critical 911 circuits also include links from 
ANI/ALI databases to central offices that serve PSAPs. The definition 
does not include the connections between the calling party and the 
selective router that serves this person. Because IP-based NG911 
networks may not employ circuit-switched technologies, the auditing 
obligation extends to data transport paths for the core 911 
capabilities, regardless of whether they are technically ``circuits.'' 
Likewise, the selective router function could be hosted by a third 
party. The facilities connecting the third party's selective router 
with the PSAPs to which it is interconnected are ``critical 911 
circuits.''
    37. Physical diversity, sometimes called route diversity, means 
that two circuits follow different routes separated by some physical 
distance so that a single failure such as a power outage, equipment 
failure, or cable cut will not result in both circuits failing. Logical 
diversity, sometimes called equipment diversity, implies that two 
circuits are provisioned to use different transmission equipment, but 
could share the same transmission medium (for example, the same fiber 
or conduit). For example, two circuits that are modulated onto two 
wavelengths are logically diverse. If they are then placed onto two 
physically separate optical fibers whose routes do not meet, they are 
also physically diverse, provided they do not share other equipment 
prior to being placed on the fibers. If, instead, they are placed onto 
the same optical fiber, they are no longer physically diverse, but they 
retain their logical diversity. In the context of critical 911 
circuits, the Commission focuses on physical diversity as the optimum 
standard for certification, but also recognizes that logical diversity 
may be appropriate where a PSAP has not ordered physically diverse 
service or where physical diversity is not feasible in a particular 
location. Thus, there is no blanket requirement that all critical 911 
circuits be physically diverse in all circumstances, but we require 
Covered 911 Service Providers that do not provision physically diverse 
911 circuits to explain why those measures are reasonably sufficient.
    38. Auditing method. To be in conformance with CSRIC best 
practices, an auditing method must reflect the geographic routing of 
circuits, as well as the logical flow of data, which could occur over a 
common physical path. In cases where a party provides 911 services 
directly to a PSAP (pursuant to contract or tariff) over leased 
facilities, the auditing obligation would apply to that party, and not 
to the facilities lessor. Although it could contract with the 
underlying facilities lessor, if necessary, to audit its facilities, 
the Covered 911 Service provider would remain responsible under our 
rules for ensuring compliance with the auditing requirement.
    39. Frequency of audits. The FCC concludes that a requirement that 
Covered 911 Service Providers conduct annual audits of their 911 
circuits, coupled with a requirement for submission of annual 
certifications, best serves the public interest. Regular auditing of 
critical 911 circuits can significantly improve network reliability, 
and the FCC concludes that annual auditing of 911 circuits and network 
monitoring links is necessary to prevent a loss of diversity in these 
critical circuits due to routine circuit rearrangements between audits.
    40. Corrective measures. Covered 911 Service Providers must certify 
annually whether they have, within the past year, audited the physical 
diversity of critical 911 circuits or equivalent data paths to each 
PSAP they serve, tagged those circuits, and eliminated single points of 
failure in these circuits. In lieu of eliminating single points of 
failure, providers also may certify that they have taken specific, 
alternative measures reasonably sufficient to mitigate the risk of 
insufficient physical diversity. The Commission will also require 
Covered 911 Service Providers to explain why measures short of physical 
diversity are reasonably sufficient to ensure reliable 911 service in 
individual cases.
    41. Cost effectiveness. In the worst case, where the single-
stranded PSAP audits cost as much as those for PSAPs served by dual 
selective routers, we would expect the annual incremental cost of those 
audits to be about $4.5 million when based on the assumptions in the 
NPRM. The Commission believes that most of these costs associated with 
these audits are already being incurred by Covered 911 Service 
Providers and will decrease over time as their auditing

[[Page 3128]]

practices improve. As commenters attest through their descriptions of 
existing practices, it is more likely that only a segment of critical 
911 circuits are not already subject to regular audits, and the 
incremental cost to audit the remaining circuits on an annual basis is 
the more reasonable figure to use in an assessment of the burden 
imposed by our auditing requirement.
    42. All told, commenters provided estimates ranging from $6.4 
million to $11.2 million in annual incremental costs, even if we accept 
the industry view that critical 911 circuit audits require more time 
than we estimated in the NPRM. In light of comments from AT&T 
describing the ``minimal incremental cost'' of computerized audits and 
from Frontier and CenturyLink indicating that even their existing 
auditing methods require less than 40 hours per PSAP, the Commission 
does not accept that Verizon's considerably-higher estimate accurately 
represents the cost of our rules to the industry as a whole. 
Furthermore, the certification's two-year phase-in will allow all 
Covered 911 Service Providers to reexamine their existing circuit 
auditing practices and implement more efficient systems. As such, the 
FCC believes that the lower end of the industry range--about $6.4 
million--is a reasonable estimate of the annual incremental cost of our 
circuit auditing requirement once the audits we require are put into 
practice. Notably, these estimates reflects the cost of a ``highly 
important'' best practice that virtually all Covered 911 Service 
Providers claim to follow already to some degree. The incremental cost 
of conducting circuit audits in conformance with our certification will 
be substantially less than the total cost, regardless of how it is 
calculated.
b. Central Office Backup Power
    43. Covered 911 Service Providers must certify annually whether 
they have sufficient, reliable backup power in any central office that 
directly serves a PSAP to maintain full service functionality, 
including network monitoring capabilities, for at least 24 hours at 
full office load. In addition especially critical central offices that 
host selective routers must be equipped with at least 72 hours of 
backup power at full office load. The specified level of backup power 
may be provided through fixed generators, portable generators, 
batteries, fuel cells, or a combination of those or other such sources 
so long as it meets the applicable certification standard.
    44. If that level of backup power is not feasible at a particular 
central office that directly serves a PSAP or hosts a selective router, 
the certification will be required to indicate this. The service 
provider must briefly state why it is not feasible and describe the 
specific alternative measures it has taken to mitigate the risk 
associated with backup power configurations that fail to satisfy the 
certification standard. Covered 911 Service Providers may also certify 
that they believe this element of the certification is not applicable 
to their network, although they must explain why it is not applicable. 
As noted above with regard to covered entities, a central office 
``directly serves a PSAP'' if it: (1) Hosts a selective router or ALI/
ANI database; (2) provides equivalent NG911 capabilities; or (3) is the 
last service-provider facility through which a 911 trunk or 
administrative line passes before connecting to a PSAP. Service 
providers must also certify whether: (1) They test and maintain all 
backup power equipment in all central offices directly serving PSAPs in 
accordance with the manufacturer's specifications, per CSRIC best 
practice; (2) adhere to CSRIC best practices regarding fully automatic, 
non-interdependent generators that can be started manually if 
necessary; and (3) retain records of backup power deployment and 
maintenance for confidential review by the Commission, upon request, 
for two years. If the specified standards related to testing and tandem 
generator configurations cannot be met, the service provider must 
briefly state why it is not feasible to meet them and describe the 
specific alternative measures it has taken to mitigate the risk 
associated with the failure to satisfy the certification standards.
    45. Because different central offices present different backup 
power challenges and a single solution may not be suitable for all, 
Covered 911 Service Providers may certify and describe reasonable 
alternative measures on a case-by-case basis. For these reasons, rather 
than codifying existing best practices as prescriptive rules, the 
certification requirement allows 911 service providers flexibility to 
maintain adequate central-office backup power based on best practices 
and reasonable alternatives to suit site-specific circumstances.
    46. Testing standards. The rules require Covered 911 Service 
Providers, consistent with CSRIC best practice, to certify that they 
test their backup power equipment according to the relevant 
manufacturers' specifications. Further, because failure of 
interdependent generators was a significant factor in the 
communications failures during the June 2012, the Commission believes 
that tandem generators should be electronically separated to ensure 
that failure of one generator does not cause the other to fail, and 
will require the certification to confirm whether the 911 provider 
employs stand-alone backup power sources. 911 providers will have the 
opportunity to demonstrate that alternative measures upon which they 
rely (e.g., load shedding) are reasonably sufficient to mitigate the 
risk of failure.
    47. Cost effectiveness. The NPRM estimated that the incremental 
cost incurred to perform backup power certifications, including 
remediation, ranged from $11.7 million to $37.5 million depending on 
whether the Commission would require fixed generators at all central 
offices. The Report and Order includes no such requirement, meaning 
that there would be no incremental costs for central offices 
appropriately provisioned with portable generators. As a result, the 
Commission estimates the cost to conform to its backup power standards 
is much closer to $11.7 million than $37.5 million. Further, the 
approach adopted will also significantly reduce the cost of compliance 
by covering only central offices directly serving PSAPs or hosting 
selective routers or ALI databases, and allowing alternative measures 
where the specified level of backup power is not feasible. Limiting 
these requirements to central offices that directly serve PSAPs reduces 
our estimate of cost by 72 percent, from $11.7 million to about $3.3 
million.
c. Network Monitoring
    48. Covered 911 Service Providers must certify annually whether 
they have, within the past year: (1) Audited the physical diversity of 
the aggregation points that they use to gather network monitoring data 
in each 911 service area and the network monitoring links between such 
aggregation points and their NOC(s); and (2) implemented physically 
diverse aggregation points for network monitoring data in each 911 
service area and physically diverse links from such aggregation points 
to at least one NOC or, in light of the required audits, taken specific 
alternative measures reasonably sufficient to mitigate the risk of 
insufficient physical diversity. They may also certify that they 
believe this element of the certification is not applicable to their 
network, although they must explain why it is not applicable.
    49. Covered 911 Service Providers also must retain records of their 
network monitoring routes and capabilities for confidential review by 
the Commission, upon request, for two years.

[[Page 3129]]

    50. For purposes of the certification, network monitoring links 
transmit data about failed or degraded network equipment and facilities 
from monitoring points within the network to a NOC or other location 
where the data are analyzed and decisions made about corrective action. 
Links from multiple individual monitoring points may be routed through 
and aggregated onto common transport facilities at one or more hubs in 
each service area for distribution to remote NOCs, in which case those 
hubs are described as aggregation points for network monitoring data. 
``Physical diversity'' applied to aggregation points refers to 
aggregation points that are not physically co-located.
    51. Corrective Measures. Recognizing that circumstances are likely 
to exist in real-world networks that prevent the achievement of 
complete physical diversity and diverse aggregation points for network 
monitoring data, the Commission believes that service providers should 
retain the flexibility to implement diversity and the migration of 
telemetry to the IP network as appropriate for their network evolution, 
management, and monitoring. As such, the certification approach 
provides Covered 911 Service Providers with the flexibility to 
compensate for an inability to conform to our certification standard by 
employing appropriate alternative measures to promote reliable and 
resilient network monitoring where diverse aggregation points or 
monitoring links may not be feasible.
    51A. Cost effectiveness. The Commission calculates the costs of 
network monitoring to be $732,000, as opposed to the $2,196,000 
suggested in the NPRM. In the absence of more detailed cost estimates 
from commenters, the Commission finds that the certification approach 
is cost effective because it uses standards that are already widely in 
use by communications providers and includes flexibility to allow 
communications providers to address circumstances where the standards 
cannot be feasibly implemented.

E. PSAP Outage Notification

    52. Covered 911 Service Providers must notify PSAPs of outages 
potentially affecting 911 service to that PSAP within 30 minutes of 
discovering the outage and provide contact information such as a name, 
telephone number, and email for follow-up. Whenever additional material 
information becomes available, but no later than two hours after the 
initial contact, the Covered 911 Service Provider must communicate 
additional detail to the PSAP, including the nature of the outage, its 
best-known cause, the geographic scope of the outage, and the estimated 
time for repairs.

F. Legal Authority

    53. In light of the Commission's express statutory 
responsibilities, regulation of additional capabilities related to 
reliable 911 service, both today and in an NG911 environment, would be 
well within Commission's foregoing statutory authority. A full 
statement of the Commission's legal authority to adopt these rules is 
contained in the Report and Order.

G. Confidentiality

    54. The Commission recognizes that some components of annual 911 
reliability certifications are likely to raise genuine public safety 
and competitive concerns, while other portions of the certification 
will not and may be of legitimate interest to the public. For example, 
there is little threat to public safety or competition in the mere fact 
of whether a Covered 911 Service Provider has filed a certification, or 
whether a service provider answers in the affirmative or negative to 
each element of the certification. Thus, a service provider's responses 
on the face of the form with respect to whether it adheres to 
certification elements or relies on alternative measures to satisfy 
other elements of the certification will not in and of itself be 
considered confidential.
    55. Nevertheless, confidentiality concerns increase significantly 
if a certification includes proprietary information about a service 
provider's specific network architecture or operations on less than an 
aggregated basis. Accordingly, certain information will be treated as 
presumptively confidential and exempt from routine public disclosure 
under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): (1) Descriptions and 
documentation of alternative measures to mitigate the risks of 
nonconformance with certification standards; (2) information detailing 
specific corrective actions taken; and (3) supplemental information 
requested by the Commission or Bureau with respect to a certification. 
The Commission would expect, without requiring it, that a Covered 911 
Service Provider will, at the request of the PSAP (or state 911 
authority, as relevant), enter into discussions concerning the content 
of the provider's 911 circuit auditing certification with respect to 
the PSAP.

H. Review and Sunset of Rules

    56. The Commission will review the rules adopted in this Report and 
Order in five years to determine whether they are still technologically 
appropriate and both adequate and necessary to ensure reliability and 
resiliency of 911 networks. Review of the rules will also include 
consideration of whether they should be revised or expanded to cover 
new best practices or additional entities that provide NG911 
capabilities, or in light of its understanding about how NG911 networks 
may differ from legacy 911 service. Factors for consideration will 
include outage reporting trends, adoption of NG911 capabilities on a 
nationwide basis, and whether the certification approach has yielded 
the necessary level of compliance. If, after review, the Commission 
determines that some or all of these rules are no longer effective in 
promoting 911 reliability, it will establish an appropriate sunset date 
for those portions of the rules that are no longer necessary. The 
Commission declines to set a specific sunset date or triggering event 
because there are still too many uncertainties about the timeline for 
widespread adoption of NG911 and the effect of new technologies on the 
need for 911 reliability rules.

I. Authority Delegated to the Public Safety and Homeland Security 
Bureau

    57. PSHSB has delegated authority to implement the rules adopted in 
the Report and Order, consistent with the Administrative Procedure Act 
and relevant portions of the Communications Act. The Commission directs 
the Bureau to develop such forms and procedures as may be required to 
collect and process certifications, and to periodically update those 
forms and procedures as necessary, subject to Paperwork Reduction Act 
requirements. Through its experience with electronic outage reports in 
NORS and DIRS, the Bureau has developed expertise with outage reports 
and trends that will be useful when reviewing such certifications and 
identifying issues for follow-up with service providers. The Bureau 
also has delegated authority to order appropriate remedial actions on a 
case-by-case basis where 911 reliability certifications indicate such 
actions are necessary to protect public safety and consistent with the 
guidelines set forth in this Report and Order.

IV. Procedural Matters

A. Accessible Formats

    58. To request materials in accessible formats for people with 
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 
send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer &

[[Page 3130]]

Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 
(tty).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

    59. The Report and Order contains new information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), 
Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review under section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the 
general public, and other interested parties are invited to comment on 
the new information collection requirements contained in this 
proceeding.
    60. We note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief 
Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the 
Commission previously sought specific comment on how the Commission 
might further reduce the information collection burden for small 
business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. We have described 
impacts that might affect small businesses, which includes most 
businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the FRFA in Appendix C of 
the Report and Order, paragraphs 14-15.

C. Congressional Review Act

    61. The Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order in a 
report to be sent to Congress and the Government Accountability Office 
pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

D. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    62. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was 
included in the NPRM in PS Docket No. 11-60 and PS Docket No. 13-75. 
The Commission sought written comment on the proposals in this docket, 
including comment on the IRFA. This Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis conforms to the RFA.

V. Ordering Clauses

    63. Accordingly, it is ordered pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 
4(o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 
309(a), 316, 332, 403, 615a-1, and 615c of the Communications Act of 
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i)-(j) & (o), 201(b), 214(d), 218, 
251(e)(3), 301, 303(b), 303(g), 303(r), 307, 309(a), 316, 332, 403, 
615a-1, and 615c, that this Report and Order in PS Docket No. 13-75 and 
PS Docket No. 11-60 IS adopted.
    64. It is further ordered that parts 0, 4, and 12 of the 
Commission's rules, 47 CFR Parts 0, 4, and 12, are amended, effective 
February 18, 2014 except for Sec.  12.4(c) and (d)(1), which contain 
information collection requirements that have not been approved by 
Office of Management and Budget. The Federal Communications Commission 
will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the 
effective date.
    65. It is further ordered that the Final Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis in Appendix C hereto is adopted.
    66. It is further ordered that, pursuant to section 801(a)(1)(A) of 
the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A), the Commission 
shall send a copy of this Report and Order to Congress and to the 
Government Accountability Office.
    67. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Report and Order, including the Final Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small 
Business Administration.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 0

    Commission organization; Confidential material; Delegation of 
authority.

47 CFR Part 4

    Telecommunications.

47 CFR Part 12

    Certification; Telecommunications.

Federal Communications Commission.
Sheryl D. Todd,
Deputy Secretary.

Final Rules

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR parts 0, 4, and 12 as follows:

PART 0--COMMISSION ORGANIZATION

0
1. The authority citation for part 0 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sec. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 155.


0
2. Section 0.392 is revised by adding paragraph (j) to read as follows:


Sec.  0.392  Authority delegated.

* * * * *
    (j) The Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is 
delegated authority to administer the communications reliability and 
redundancy rules and policies contained in part 12 of this chapter, 
develop and revise forms and procedures as may be required for the 
administration of part 12 of this chapter, review certifications filed 
in connection therewith, and order remedial action on a case-by-case 
basis to ensure the reliability of 911 service in accordance with such 
rules and policies.

0
3. Section 0.457 is amended by revising paragraph (d)(1)(viii) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  0.457  Records not routinely available for public inspection.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (viii) Information submitted with a 911 reliability certification 
pursuant to 47 CFR 12.4 that consists of descriptions and documentation 
of alternative measures to mitigate the risks of nonconformance with 
certification elements, information detailing specific corrective 
actions taken with respect to certification elements, or supplemental 
information requested by the Commission with respect to such 
certification.
* * * * *

PART 4--DISRUPTIONS TO COMMUNICATIONS

0
4. The authority citation for part 4 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: Sec. 5, 48 Stat. 1068, as amended; 47 U.S.C. 154, 
155, 201, 251, 307, 316, 615a-1, 1302(a), and 1302(b).


0
5. Section 4.9 is amended by adding paragraph (h) to read as follows:


Sec.  4.9  Outage reporting requirements--threshold criteria.

* * * * *
    (h) Covered 911 service providers. In addition to any other 
obligations imposed in this section, within thirty minutes of 
discovering an outage that potentially affects a 911 special facility 
(as defined in Sec.  4.5), all covered 911 service providers (as 
defined in Sec.  12.4(a)(4) of this chapter) shall notify as soon as 
possible but no later than thirty minutes after discovering the outage 
any official who has been designated by the affected 911 special 
facility as the provider's contact person(s) for communications outages 
at that facility and convey all available information that may be 
useful in mitigating the effects of the outage, as well as a name, 
telephone number, and email address at which the service provider can 
be reached for follow-up. The covered 911 service provider shall 
communicate additional material information to the affected 911 special 
facility as it becomes available, but no later than two hours after the 
initial contact. This information shall include the nature of the 
outage, its best-known

[[Page 3131]]

cause, the geographic scope of the outage, the estimated time for 
repairs, and any other information that may be useful to the management 
of the affected facility. All notifications shall be transmitted by 
telephone and in writing via electronic means in the absence of another 
method mutually agreed upon in advance by the 911 special facility and 
the covered 911 service provider.

PART 12--RESILIENCY, REDUNDANCY AND RELIABILITY OF COMMUNICATIONS

0
6. The authority citation for part 12 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), 4(o), 5(c), 218, 219, 301, 
303(g), 303(j), 303(r), 332, 403, 621(b)(3), and 621(d) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 
154(j), 154(o), 155(c), 218, 219, 301, 303(g), 303(j), 303(r), 332, 
403, 621(b)(3), and 621(d), unless otherwise noted.


0
7. Revise the heading of part 12 to read as set forth above.

0
8. Section 12.4 is added to read as follows: Sec.  12.4 Reliability of 
covered 911 service providers.
    (a) Definitions. Terms in this section shall have the following 
meanings:
    (1) Aggregation point. A point at which network monitoring data for 
a 911 service area is collected and routed to a network operations 
center (NOC) or other location for monitoring and analyzing network 
status and performance.
    (2) Certification. An attestation by a certifying official, under 
penalty of perjury, that a covered 911 service provider:
    (i) Has satisfied the obligations of paragraph (c) of this section.
    (ii) Has adequate internal controls to bring material information 
regarding network architecture, operations, and maintenance to the 
certifying official's attention.
    (iii) Has made the certifying official aware of all material 
information reasonably necessary to complete the certification.
    (iv) The term ``certification'' shall include both an annual 
reliability certification under paragraph (c) of this section and an 
initial reliability certification under paragraph (d)(1) of this 
section, to the extent provided under paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
    (3) Certifying official. A corporate officer of a covered 911 
service provider with supervisory and budgetary authority over network 
operations in all relevant service areas.
    (4) Covered 911 service provider.
    (i) Any entity that:
    (A) Provides 911, E911, or NG911 capabilities such as call routing, 
automatic location information (ALI), automatic number identification 
(ANI), or the functional equivalent of those capabilities, directly to 
a public safety answering point (PSAP), statewide default answering 
point, or appropriate local emergency authority as defined in 
Sec. Sec.  64.3000(b) and 20.3 of this chapter; and/or
    (B) Operates one or more central offices that directly serve a 
PSAP. For purposes of this section, a central office directly serves a 
PSAP if it hosts a selective router or ALI/ANI database, provides 
equivalent NG911 capabilities, or is the last service-provider facility 
through which a 911 trunk or administrative line passes before 
connecting to a PSAP.
    (ii) The term ``covered 911 service provider'' shall not include 
any entity that:
    (A) Constitutes a PSAP or governmental authority to the extent that 
it provides 911 capabilities; or
    (B) Offers the capability to originate 911 calls where another 
service provider delivers those calls and associated number or location 
information to the appropriate PSAP.
    (5) Critical 911 circuits. 911 facilities that originate at a 
selective router or its functional equivalent and terminate in the 
central office that serves the PSAP(s) to which the selective router or 
its functional equivalent delivers 911 calls, including all equipment 
in the serving central office necessary for the delivery of 911 calls 
to the PSAP(s). Critical 911 circuits also include ALI and ANI 
facilities that originate at the ALI or ANI database and terminate in 
the central office that serves the PSAP(s) to which the ALI or ANI 
databases deliver 911 caller information, including all equipment in 
the serving central office necessary for the delivery of such 
information to the PSAP(s).
    (6) Diversity audit. A periodic analysis of the geographic routing 
of network components to determine whether they are physically diverse. 
Diversity audits may be performed through manual or automated means, or 
through a review of paper or electronic records, as long as they 
reflect whether critical 911 circuits are physically diverse.
    (7) Monitoring links. Facilities that collect and transmit network 
monitoring data to a NOC or other location for monitoring and analyzing 
network status and performance.
    (8) Physically diverse. Circuits or equivalent data paths are 
Physically Diverse if they provide more than one physical route between 
end points with no common points where a single failure at that point 
would cause both circuits to fail. Circuits that share a common segment 
such as a fiber-optic cable or circuit board are not Physically diverse 
even if they are logically diverse for purposes of transmitting data.
    (9) 911 service area. The metropolitan area or geographic region in 
which a covered 911 service provider operates a selective router or the 
functional equivalent to route 911 calls to the geographically 
appropriate PSAP.
    (10) Selective router. A 911 network component that selects the 
appropriate destination PSAP for each 911 call based on the location of 
the caller.
    (11) Tagging. An inventory management process whereby critical 911 
circuits are labeled in circuit inventory databases to make it less 
likely that circuit rearrangements will compromise diversity. A covered 
911 service provider may use any system it wishes to tag circuits so 
long as it tracks whether critical 911 circuits are physically diverse 
and identifies changes that would compromise such diversity.
    (b) Provision of reliable 911 service. All covered 911 service 
providers shall take reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 
service with respect to circuit diversity, central-office backup power, 
and diverse network monitoring. Performance of the elements of the 
certification set forth in paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (c)(2)(i), and 
(c)(3)(i) of this section shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements 
of this paragraph. If a covered 911 service provider cannot certify 
that it has performed a given element, the Commission may determine 
that such provider nevertheless satisfies the requirements of this 
paragraph based upon a showing in accordance with paragraph (c) of this 
section that it is taking alternative measures with respect to that 
element that are reasonably sufficient to mitigate the risk of failure, 
or that one or more certification elements are not applicable to its 
network.
    (c) Annual reliability certification. One year after the initial 
reliability certification described in paragraph (d)(1) of this section 
and every year thereafter, a certifying official of every covered 911 
service provider shall submit a certification to the Commission as 
follows.
    (1) Circuit auditing.
    (i) A covered 911 service provider shall certify whether it has, 
within the past year:
    (A) Conducted diversity audits of critical 911 circuits or 
equivalent data paths to any PSAP served;
    (B) Tagged such critical 911 circuits to reduce the probability of 
inadvertent

[[Page 3132]]

loss of diversity in the period between audits; and
    (C) Eliminated all single points of failure in critical 911 
circuits or equivalent data paths serving each PSAP.
    (ii) If a covered 911 service provider does not conform with the 
elements in paragraph (c)(1)(i)(C) of this section with respect to the 
911 service provided to one or more PSAPs, it must certify with respect 
to each such PSAP:
    (A) Whether it has taken alternative measures to mitigate the risk 
of critical 911 circuits that are not physically diverse or is taking 
steps to remediate any issues that it has identified with respect to 
911 service to the PSAP, in which case it shall provide a brief 
explanation of such alternative measures or such remediation steps, the 
date by which it anticipates such remediation will be completed, and 
why it believes those measures are reasonably sufficient to mitigate 
such risk; or
    (B) Whether it believes that one or more of the requirements of 
this paragraph are not applicable to its network, in which case it 
shall provide a brief explanation of why it believes any such 
requirement does not apply.
    (2) Backup power.
    (i) With respect to any central office it operates that directly 
serves a PSAP, a covered 911 service provider shall certify whether it:
    (A) Provisions backup power through fixed generators, portable 
generators, batteries, fuel cells, or a combination of these or other 
such sources to maintain full-service functionality, including network 
monitoring capabilities, for at least 24 hours at full office load or, 
if the central office hosts a selective router, at least 72 hours at 
full office load; provided, however, that any such portable generators 
shall be readily available within the time it takes the batteries to 
drain, notwithstanding potential demand for such generators elsewhere 
in the service provider's network.
    (B) Tests and maintains all backup power equipment in such central 
offices in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications;
    (C) Designs backup generators in such central offices for fully 
automatic operation and for ease of manual operation, when required;
    (D) Designs, installs, and maintains each generator in any central 
office that is served by more than one backup generator as a stand-
alone unit that does not depend on the operation of another generator 
for proper functioning.
    (ii) If a covered 911 service provider does not conform with all of 
the elements in paragraph (c)(2)(i) of this section, it must certify 
with respect to each such central office:
    (A) Whether it has taken alternative measures to mitigate the risk 
of a loss of service in that office due to a loss of power or is taking 
steps to remediate any issues that it has identified with respect to 
backup power in that office, in which case it shall provide a brief 
explanation of such alternative measures or such remediation steps, the 
date by which it anticipates such remediation will be completed, and 
why it believes those measures are reasonably sufficient to mitigate 
such risk; or
    (B) Whether it believes that one or more of the requirements of 
this paragraph are not applicable to its network, in which case it 
shall provide a brief explanation of why it believes any such 
requirement does not apply.
    (3) Network monitoring.
    (i) A covered 911 service provider shall certify whether it has, 
within the past year:
    (A) Conducted diversity audits of the aggregation points that it 
uses to gather network monitoring data in each 911 service area;
    (B) Conducted diversity audits of monitoring links between 
aggregation points and NOCs for each 911 service area in which it 
operates; and
    (C) Implemented physically diverse aggregation points for network 
monitoring data in each 911 service area and physically diverse 
monitoring links from such aggregation points to at least one NOC.
    (ii) If a Covered 911 service provider does not conform with all of 
the elements in paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C) of this section, it must certify 
with respect to each such 911 service area:
    (A) Whether it has taken alternative measures to mitigate the risk 
of network monitoring facilities that are not physically diverse or is 
taking steps to remediate any issues that it has identified with 
respect to diverse network monitoring in that 911 service area, in 
which case it shall provide a brief explanation of such alternative 
measures or such remediation steps, the date by which it anticipates 
such remediation will be completed, and why it believes those measures 
are reasonably sufficient to mitigate such risk; or
    (B) Whether it believes that one or more of the requirements of 
this paragraph are not applicable to its network, in which case it 
shall provide a brief explanation of why it believes any such 
requirement does not apply.
    (d) Other matters.
    (1) Initial reliability certification. One year after February 18, 
2014, a certifying official of every covered 911 service provider shall 
certify to the Commission that it has made substantial progress toward 
meeting the standards of the annual reliability certification described 
in paragraph (c) of this section. Substantial progress in each element 
of the certification shall be defined as compliance with standards of 
the full certification in at least 50 percent of the covered 911 
service provider's critical 911 circuits, central offices that directly 
serve PSAPs, and independently monitored 911 service areas.
    (2) Confidential treatment.
    (i) The fact of filing or not filing an annual reliability 
certification or initial reliability certification and the responses on 
the face of such certification forms shall not be treated as 
confidential.
    (ii) Information submitted with or in addition to such 
certifications shall be presumed confidential to the extent that it 
consists of descriptions and documentation of alternative measures to 
mitigate the risks of nonconformance with certification elements, 
information detailing specific corrective actions taken with respect to 
certification elements, or supplemental information requested by the 
Commission or Bureau with respect to a certification.
    (3) Record retention. A covered 911 service provider shall retain 
records supporting the responses in a certification for two years from 
the date of such certification, and shall make such records available 
to the Commission upon request. To the extent that a covered 911 
service provider maintains records in electronic format, records 
supporting a certification hereunder shall be maintained and supplied 
in an electronic format.
    (i) With respect to diversity audits of critical 911 circuits, such 
records shall include, at a minimum, audit records separately 
addressing each such circuit, any internal report(s) generated as a 
result of such audits, records of actions taken pursuant to the audit 
results, and records regarding any alternative measures taken to 
mitigate the risk of critical 911 circuits that are not physically 
diverse.
    (ii) With respect to backup power at central offices, such records 
shall include, at a minimum, records regarding the nature and extent of 
backup power at each central office that directly serves a PSAP, 
testing and maintenance records for backup power equipment in each such 
central office, and records regarding any alternative measures taken to 
mitigate the risk of insufficient backup power.

[[Page 3133]]

    (iii) With respect to network monitoring, such records shall 
include, at a minimum, records of diversity audits of monitoring links, 
any internal report(s) generated as a result of such audits, records of 
actions taken pursuant to the audit results, and records regarding any 
alternative measures taken to mitigate the risk of aggregation points 
and/or monitoring links that are not physically diverse.

[FR Doc. 2014-00958 Filed 1-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P