California Moves Forward on MLTS E911

CPUC-MLTS LogoCalifornia MLTS Legislation took another step forward this week after a unanimous vote in the Assembly on Bill CA911 that would provide a legislative directive, with penalties for non-compliance, on Multi Line Telephone System deployments (PBX systems) serving areas greater than 7,000 square feet.

Frequent APN Podcast guest and attorney Martha Buyer joins me once again, earning the title of ‘APN Legal Correspondent’, and is joined by Byron Battles, principal of the Battles Group. Byron is a former President of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants, and is well respected by many in the industry, myself included.

A full transcript is provided below,
as well as the MP3 Audio available here:
http://fletch.cachefly.net/E911Talk2013/Episode144_CaliLeg.mp3


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Spyder Harrison – VO Dude
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Mark Fletcher:
California moves one step closer to MLTS legislation. Find out more on the next E911 Talk Podcast Episode 144, recorded Friday, May 24, 2013.

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Spyder Harrison – VO Dude
Welcome to this edition of E911 Talk with your host, Mark Fletcher, Product Line Manager for Emergency Services at Avaya. Now here’s Fletch.

Mark Fletcher:
Hi, everyone. It’s Fletch with the E911 Talk Podcast and joining me today is APN legal correspondent Martha Buyer. You don’t mind that I gave you that title, do you Martha?

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer
I’m honoured by it. No, I think it’s delightful.

Mark Fletcher:
And also joining us is a consultant from the Battles Group, Byron Battles. Byron, how are you today? Thanks again for joining us.

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Byron Battles:
Very well. Thank you very much.

Mark Fletcher:
I called this two industry experts together because in my email box this morning showed up another bit of information about California Legislation. So Martha, this is something that you and I are both been tracking quite a bit and there’s been some recent turn of events in California. Why don’t you tell us what those are?

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer
Well, it looks like the legislation is working into it through the process to get ultimately to the California legislature. Most recently, the legislation was presented to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations which is where the money comes from and it was voted on and it was voted 15 to nothing to move it ahead. So this is a step forward but it’s not going to happen at lightning speed even if this makes it to the legislature for a complete vote by the end of the term which is what the person who’s sponsoring it told me they hoped would happen. It wouldn’t become effective until January 1, 2019, big window for compliance.

Mark Fletcher:
So what are some of the highlights? What are they looking to accomplish? I know that they talked about location accuracy and a few other things.

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer
Well I think to me, there are two very interesting things in terms of who’s not covered by it and that is, it does not apply to buildings or structures that are under 7,000 sq. ft. or in those areas in the State of California where enhanced 911 services are not available. So that certainly takes out a lot of your small business and maybe a good chunk of small and medium business, as well as residential providers of telephone service.

Mark Fletcher:
And that’s really not too much of a problem because if you’re under 7,000 sq. ft. I don’t think you really have much of a location problem unless you’re multiple stories.

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer
Right. Right, that’s true. But otherwise, they would say, it’s fairly generic. It requires an MLTS operator in an area that has enhanced 911-capability to maintain and operate the MLTS as specified to ensure that each emergency calls placed from a telephone space and on the system is routed to the public safety answering point. That’s not very specific. I expect a lot of these details are going to get hammered out as we go forward. But a bill listing is very interesting in the bill reactors stand and remember this is in front of the Appropriations Committee is that the fiscal effect which is underlined in the bill as it stands does minor observable cost to the PUC, very nice. That for them MLTS providers I supposed like to hear. It’s not going to be their expense. The big challenge will be on the state side.

Mark Fletcher:
Well yeah, that I think is a really important part. And again, the fact that they rule out people under 7,000 sq. ft. rules out your small and small-medium businesses from having to do anything. I think it’s really targeted at the larger enterprises, multiple buildings, multiple stories. So Byron, you are a consultant in the space and I know you take 911 very seriously. Your past president of STC which is a tremendous title to have right there but I know that you take 911 very seriously because I’ve had to present in front of you for some of your customers. What’s your take on this?

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Byron Battles:
It’s interesting the timing on this because we actually have a client that Martha has been doing some research for that. It’s a single site but what we found as consultants in the last 5 years that organizations are taking 911 and E911 much more seriously and looking at it much more closely. The reason being is because of the pending legislation a variety of state, they need to provide that location information and even though this particular client has just single site and would probably be exempted in California, it has other locations in DC and Maryland that it has already rolled out E911. So it was to provide the state environment for all of its employees not just the one where it’s legislated or soon to be legislated by law. So we’re trying that the client and we as consultants has to be much more cognizant to the E911. We have to understand not only the technology behind it but how is it going to work within any specific organization, how big is it, how closely do they want to pinpoint where the medical or emergency is taking place and how is the call going to be conveyed to not only public first responders but the internal security if there is one.

Mark Fletcher:
Yes. So one of the things that impress me the most when I was dealing with you where I had to present to you was that you chose to include 911 in the initial RFI and RFP responses but you made it very clear that that particular section was kind of going to go through its own due diligence at a later point in time and that was because the network hadn’t really been established yet and you got to know what the network is going to look like. And I thought that was such a proactive stands to see from a consultant. I wish more people would do that.

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Byron Battles:
We feel like in any converged types of solution, the network is the road on which all the applications go. And even though it’s not the most glamorous part of that solution, it’s the most essential part.

Mark Fletcher:
Excellent information. Martha, any closing thoughts?

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer
No, I think he has covered it. I mean, you know I wouldn’t tell anyone to panic. First of all, this hasn’t passed to legislature yet. It hasn’t become law but it’s certainly working its way in that direction and it’s doing so at a reasonably good clip. So I would say, “Stay tuned.”

Mark Fletcher:
And as always, it’s 911. It’s life safety. You should be looking at this anyway and this is just another proof point that it is coming again in another state. And again, maybe the language needs to be tightened up but still there’s this plenty of time for that to happen, so definitely stay tuned. Again, we’re talking with APN legal correspondent Martha Buyer. We appreciate you joining us today. And also, Byron Battles from the Battles Group. Byron, thank you very much. First time on the podcast and we’ll be talking to you at the Avaya IAUG Show in Orlando hopefully in a few weeks. Thanks for joining us today on this podcast.

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Byron Battles:
Thanks. Very well.

Martha Buyer
Martha Buyer
Thanks, Fletch.

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Spyder Harrison – VO Dude
You’re listening to APN, the Avaya Podcast Network. Find us on the web at Avaya.com/APN.

End of Transcription [00:07:25.07]


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