Click here for Adobe Acrobat version

******************************************************** 
                      NOTICE
********************************************************

This document was converted from Adobe Acrobat

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.

*****************************************************************



      PUBLIC NOTICE 
      Federal Communications Commission                                                      News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
      445 12th St., S.W.                                                                       Internet: 
                                                                                                                http://www.fcc.gov
  Washington, D.C. 20554                                                                                      TTY: 1-888-835-5322

 

                                                                                                           DA 05-2358 
                                                                                           Released:  August 26, 2005 
                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                          
                 Enforcement Bureau Provides Further Guidance to Interconnected Voice Over  
                              Internet Protocol Service Providers Concerning Enforcement of  
                                                Subscriber Acknowledgement Requirement 
                                                                     
                                                          WC Docket No. 04-36 
                                                          WC Docket No. 05-196 
                                                                     
             In this Public Notice, the Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) provides further guidance to providers of 
interconnected voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service concerning enforcement of the subscriber 
affirmative acknowledgement requirement set forth in the Commission's VoIP Enhanced 911 (E911) 
rules.1  Specifically, the Bureau announces that it will continue to refrain, for an additional 30 days -- 
until September 28, 2005 -- from enforcing the requirement that VoIP providers obtain affirmative 
acknowledgements from 100% of their subscribers that they have read and understood an advisory 
concerning the limitations of their E911 service against those providers that meet the reporting 
requirements established below.    

             In addition to satisfying these reporting requirements, to be eligible for this extension, providers 
also must have filed a report on or before August 10, 2005 in accordance with the Bureau's July 26, 2005 
Public Notice.  The Bureau will evaluate the sufficiency of the updated reports filed by interconnected 
VoIP providers and take subsequent action as necessary. 

             Background.  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an Order on June 3, 
2005,2 requiring interconnected VoIP service providers3 to provide E911 capabilities to their subscribers 




                                                      
1 IP-Enabled Services and E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, First Report and Order and Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, 2005 WL 1323217, FCC, (rel. Jun 3, 2005) at  48, 73 (VoIP E911 Order); see also 47 
C.F.R. 9.5(e). 

2 VoIP E911 Order. 

3 "Interconnected VoIP service" means an interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service that: (1) 
enables real-time, two-way voice communications; (2) requires a broadband connection from the user's location; (3) 
requires Internet protocol-compatible customer premises equipment; and (4) permits users generally to receive calls 
that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone 
network. 


no later than 120 days from the effective date of the Order.4  Additionally, as set forth in the VoIP E911 
Order, all providers of interconnected VoIP service were required by July 29, 2005 to: 
               Specifically advise every new and existing subscriber, prominently and in plain language, of 
                   the circumstances under which E911 service may not be available through the interconnected 
                   VoIP service or may be in some way limited by comparison to traditional E911 service 
                   ("advisory requirement"); and 
               Obtain and keep a record of affirmative acknowledgement by every subscriber, both new and 
                   existing, of having received and understood the advisory described in the paragraph above 
                   ("affirmative acknowledgement requirement"); and 
               Distribute to its existing subscribers warning stickers or other appropriate labels warning 
                   subscribers if E911 service may be limited or not available and instructing the subscriber to 
                   place them on or near the equipment used in conjunction with the interconnected VoIP 
                   service.  Each interconnected VoIP provider should distribute such warning stickers or other 
                   appropriate labels to each new subscriber prior to the initiation of that subscriber's service 
                   ("sticker requirement").5 
              
             On July 26, 2005, the Bureau released a Public Notice stating that it would delay, until August 
30, 2005, any enforcement action against any provider of interconnected VoIP service regarding the 
affirmative acknowledgement requirement if the provider filed a report by August 10, 2005, detailing its 
progress toward satisfying the customer advisory, affirmative acknowledgement, and sticker 
requirements.  The Bureau further stated its expectation that interconnected VoIP providers would 
disconnect, by August 30, 2005, all subscribers from whom it had not received affirmative 
acknowledgements.  The 30-day extension has allowed interconnected VoIP providers to continue to 
obtain affirmative acknowledgements from subscribers and minimize the number subject to potential 
disconnection. 
              
             The Bureau has reviewed numerous reports filed by VoIP providers on August 10.  The reports 
demonstrate the significant efforts made by providers in complying with the 100% affirmative 
acknowledgement requirement.  As a result of its review of these reports, the Bureau has determined that 
it will not initiate enforcement action, until September 28, 2005, regarding the affirmative 
acknowledgement requirement against those providers that:  (1) previously filed reports on or before 
August 10, 2005 in accordance with the July 26 Public Notice; and (2) file two separate updated reports 
with the FCC by September 1, 2005 and September 22, 2005, containing the information described 
below.  During this additional period of time, the Bureau expects that all interconnected VoIP providers 
that qualify for this extension will continue to use all means available to them to obtain affirmative 
acknowledgements from all of their subscribers.  Qualifying providers will also have additional time to 
consider "soft" or "warm" disconnect or suspension methods, as described below. 
              
             Subscriber Notification and Acknowledgement Status and Compliance Reports 
              
             In the September 1, 2005 and September 22, 2005 reports, each provider must submit the 
following information updating its August 10, 2005 report: 
              

                                                      
4 The effective date of the Order is July 29, 2005 (30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register).  70 
Fed. Reg. 37,273 (June 29, 2005). 

5 VoIP E911 Order at  48, 73; see also 47 C.F.R.  9.5. 

                                                             2


               A detailed explanation regarding current compliance with the notice and warning sticker 
                   requirements if the provider did not notify and issue warning stickers or labels to 100% of 
                   its subscribers by the July 29, 2005 deadline.  Providers expected to update this 
                   information include those that were in the process of providing notice and/or stickers to 
                   their subscribers, but had not completed the process by July 29, 2005. 
               A quantification of the percentage of the provider's subscribers that have submitted 
                   affirmative acknowledgements as of the date of the September 1 and September 22 
                   reports, and an estimation of the percentage of subscribers from whom the provider does 
                   not expect to receive an acknowledgement by September 28, 2005; 
               A detailed description of any and all actions the provider plans to take towards any of its 
                   subscribers that do not affirmatively acknowledge having received and understood the 
                   advisory; and, 
               A detailed description of any and all plans to use a "soft" or "warm" disconnect (or 
                   similar) procedure for subscribers that fail to provide an affirmative acknowledgement by 
                   September 28, 2005.  The Bureau notes that in their August 10, 2005 reports some 
                   providers, such as Teliphone, Inc. and Broadview Networks, Inc., state that they will use 
                   a "soft" disconnect procedure to disconnect those subscribers that ultimately do not 
                   acknowledge having received and understood the customer advisory.  As the Bureau 
                   understands it, the soft disconnect procedure will either disallow all non-911 calls or 
                   intercept and send those calls to the provider's customer service department.  Under this 
                   "soft" disconnect procedure, however, calls to 911 will continue to go to the appropriate 
                   Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).  A provider's September 1 and September 22 
                   reports must include either a statement that the provider will use a "soft" or "warm" 
                   disconnect (or similar) solution as of September 28, 2005, or a detailed explanation of 
                   why it is not feasible for the provider to use a "soft" or "warm" disconnect solution, as 
                   described above.   
 
        Filing Procedures 
         
        Interconnected VoIP providers may file the above-referenced reports in this proceeding on or 
before September 1, 2005 and September 22, 2005.  All reports must reference WC Docket No. 05-196 
and should be labeled clearly on the first page as "Subscriber Acknowledgement Report (date)."  The 
report may be filed using: (1) the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), or (2) by 
filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24,121 
(May 1, 1998). 
 
               Electronic Filers:  Compliance letters may be filed electronically using the Internet by 
                   accessing the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Filers should follow the instructions 
                   provided on the website for submitting comments. For ECFS filers, in completing the 
                   transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing 
                   address, and the applicable docket number (WC Docket No. 05-196). 
 
               Paper Filers:  Parties that choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of 
                   each filing. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight 
                   courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although we continue to 
                   experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).  All filings must be addressed to 
                   the Commission's Secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal 
                   Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554. 
 

                                                        3





                                                              


               The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper 
                 filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, 
                 Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All 
                 hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must 
                 be disposed of before entering the building. 
 
               Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority 
                 Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743. 
 
               U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 
                 12th Street, SW, Washington DC 20554. 
 
Parties should also send a copy of their filings to: 
 
               Byron McCoy, Telecommunications Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal 
                 Communications Commission, Room 4-A234, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 
                 20554, or by email to byron.mccoy@fcc.gov; 
 
               Kathy Berthot, Deputy Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau, 
                 Federal Communications Commission, Room 7-C802, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, 
                 D.C. 20554, or by email to kathy.berthot@fcc.gov; and 
 
               Janice Myles, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal 
                 Communications Commission, Room 5-C140, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 
                 20554, or by e-mail to janice.myles@fcc.gov. 
 
        Parties must also serve one copy with the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, 
Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, (202) 488-5300, 
or via e-mail to fcc@bcpiweb.com. 
 
        For further information regarding this proceeding, contact David Hunt, Telecommunications 
Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, (202) 418-1522, or Cynthia Bryant, Telecommunications 
Consumers Division, Enforcement Bureau, (202) 418-8164. 
         
                                                    -FCC- 
 





                                                         4