There are two primary methods by which to notify the Enforcement Bureau
of violations by carriers of E-911 Phase 1 or Phase 2
One method is to informally notify the Bureau about violations.
second method is to file a formal complaint pursuant to Section 208 of
the Communications Act.
Persons who do not wish to file a formal complaint, but who wish to
inform the Bureau of evidence that a violation of the E-911
Implementation Requirements has occurred so that the Bureau may decide
to initiate an investigation, if appropriate, may contact the
Spectrum Enforcement Division.
You may contact
Kathryn Berthot, Division Chief at 202 418 1160
to discuss such matters.
While you don't need to spend a lot of time or money putting
information together in advance, when you contact the staff, it does
help to provide as much factual information concerning the alleged
violation as possible, and to be able to substantiate your claims.
Documentary materials (copies of letters, e-mails, etc.), or
testimonial evidence in the form of sworn affidavits, is particularly
It is also useful if you can identify particular provisions of
the statute or the rules that you believe have been violated.
specific you can be, the faster the Enforcement Bureau can determine if
enforcement action is warranted.
Keep in mind, though, that this
process does not require any ultimate decision by the FCC.
Formal Section 208 Complaints
Persons interested in filing a formal Section 208 complaint alleging
violation of an E911 rule should take the following steps.
Call Us First.
If you are contemplating filing a formal complaint, we
strongly encourage you to contact the staff in the
Market Disputes Resolution Division
at 202-418-7330, before filing.
There are many advantages to contacting the staff before
filing a complaint.
The staff has stepped up its efforts to mediate
disputes between industry participants before a complaint is filed.
many cases, the staff can discuss the dispute together with the
potential complainant and the potential defendant and help facilitate a
private settlement acceptable to both even before the filing of a
Mediation does not work in every case, but you might be
surprised (or perhaps not) how often the stonewalling and unsupportable
arguments disappear when Commission staff is in the room.
importantly, the mediation approach often results in quick resolution
of disputes in a way that better fits the business needs of the
And, indeed, the mediation process is a prerequisite before
the staff will accept a case on the Accelerated Docket (see below for
more information on the Accelerated Docket).
Even if mediation does not
resolve the dispute, talking to the staff first can help answer any
questions you may have concerning procedures, emphasize certain
requirements that must be satisfied, and help focus the key issues in
any complaint that is filed.
Read the Rules.
Before filing a formal complaint, carefully review the
procedural rules governing section 208 complaints.
These rules are
The staff follows them carefully and enforces them.
to comply with the rules can result in dismissal of the complaint.
should feel free to contact the staff to discuss these procedures and
ask any questions.
The rules governing formal complaints (including the
procedures governing the Accelerated Docket) are found in the Code of
Federal Regulations at 47 C.F.R. Sections 1.720-1.736 (1999).
additional information, you may want to look at the FCC's Report and
Order that adopted these rules, which is published in the FCC Record at
12 FCC Rcd 22497 (1997).
The specific rules governing the Accelerated
Docket are published in the FCC Record at 13 FCC Rcd 17018 (1998).
filing fee is required for all formal complaints.
See 47 C.F.R. section
If you do file a formal complaint, provide as much
factual support for your case as possible.
This can be in the form of
sworn affidavits, documentary evidence, etc.
Do not assume that you
will be able to engage in lengthy discovery after you file your
complaint in order to develop the facts.
Not every dispute involving E-911 is appropriate for a
formal complaint. Potential complainants should take a hard look at
potential cases and bring us cases that really matter.
are finite, and the industry needs to use discretion in filing
complaints if you want us to be there when it really counts.
part, in an effort to be able to tackle complaints quickly when they
are filed, we have made great strides in reducing the number of
complaints pending before the agency.
We have accomplished this through
mediation, formal settlement, and written decisions.
We continue to
work on reducing the number of cases pending before the agency.
will free our staff to address new competitive disputes as they arise
and should reduce significantly the amount of time it takes to get a
The Accelerated Docket is available for selected
formal complaints. Because this procedure may lead to a ``mini-trial''
with testimony by witnesses subject to cross-examination, it is
particularly well suited for cases involving difficult factual
It is designed to lead to a written staff-level decision
within 60 days from the filing of the complaint.
Accelerated Docket rules require staff-supervised pre-filing settlement
discussions between the parties, many disputes are settled without the
need to file a formal complaint.
In fact, such settlements are a real
success story of the Accelerated Docket procedure.
Please contact the
staff if you would like to have a potential complaint considered for
acceptance onto the Accelerated Docket.
It is important to understand
that not all cases are suitable for this expedited procedure.
staff, in its discretion, decides which cases to assign to the
Although you may be disappointed if the staff
declines to assign your particular case to the Accelerated Docket, you
always are free to file a ``traditional'' formal complaint and have
that complaint adjudicated by the FCC.
For more information on the Commission's requirements regarding E911 and
other 911 requirements, click
For more information regarding enforcement actions taken by the Commission
in the E911 area click