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E9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions

 

Answers to Common Questions About Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1)

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Do 9-1-1 calls provide location information with the call when it routes to the 9-1-1 Center?

No, only the ANI (10-digit telephone number).

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If there is not a state E9-1-1 law, do I have to comply?

State laws only define penalties for non-compliance.

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What is the real exposure on 9-1-1?

Wrongful injury suits—wrongful death suits exposure to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

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We already work with a company for our telephony needs. Can they provide us with E9-1-1 services?

Few telephony providers offer a comprehensive E9-1-1 software. They typically offer a product with little or no onsite notification or management of the E9-1-1 database used to determine the location of a 9-1-1 caller. Spok has strong relationships with leading telephony providers and will work with you to make it fit with your current vendor. Together, we will be able to design a system that fits your unique needs.

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Is my current PBX compatible with Spok E9-1-1 services?

Spok’s E9-1-1 software supports a wide range of PBX systems including VoIP, digital or analog technologies. Please contact us to review your current system and determine the best E9-1-1 service to meet your needs.

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Do I need equipment for every building at my site?

No. We can accommodate a networked customer application with minimal equipment to provide a thorough and complete enhanced 9-1-1 service—9-1-1 call transport, onsite notification and database management services. We take into consideration your internal telephone network when designing your configuration. Our system does not require personnel at each site and we can maintain multiple databases from one.

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We are adding another building to our current site. Will we need to buy new equipment for them to receive E9-1-1 services?

In most cases, you do not need to purchase additional equipment for E9-11 services. We can add new locations to an existing system easily.

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Can we use our existing primary rate interface (PRI) for 9-1-1 calls?

Yes. Spok’s E9-1-1 software works in a PRI environment. However, it is important to remember that not all PSAPs in the country are PRI-enabled. You need to verify that you can send ANI via the PRI and that the PSAP can receive it. In addition, the telephony system provider does not know these circuits are being used for Enhanced 9-1-1 calls, and may not give them the highest priority for repair.

Centralized Automatic Message Accounting (CAMA) trunks are still available for the applications that require them. There are some advantages to using CAMA trunks. CAMA trunks are dedicated for Enhanced 9-1-1 use, and when reported to the telephony system provider, get immediate repair. Another feature that CAMA trunks provide that ISDN PRI does not is End User Hold. If a 9-1-1 call is placed on an ISDN PRI circuit and gets disconnected, the call drops and that channel of the T1 becomes idle. With CAMA trunks, the End User Hold feature keeps that call activated with the PSAP operator, displaying the calling party number. For example, if a burglar were to break into your business and remove the phone cord, and the lone worker present calls 91-1, the ISDN PRI trunk would drop that call and return to idle. The CAMA trunk, though, would still complete the call and post the originating number to the PSAP operator.

Spok will work with you to determine the best E9-1-1 solution to meet your needs and network capabilities.

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If I set up my system with an ELIN per switch, will I ever need to change the ALI again?

Yes:

  • Numbers change
  • Switch might cover a different area in the building
  • Switch covers more than a single floor
  • NENA standards change for ALI
  • FCC changes requirements
  • Your state changes 9-1-1 requirements
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Why should we add onsite notification? If we get the call out to 9-1-1, isn't that enough?

It is true that providing the Enhanced 9-1-1 call in an accurate format to the public network is very important. However, what about your internal safety and security processes? Most customers want to be part of the 9-1-1 solution, and on-site notification provides them a means to do so. At the same time the call goes out to the PSAP, you receive internal notification so that your personnel can provide first response to the emergency site. Without on-site notification, your first indication that a 9-1-1 call has been placed is when you see emergency vehicles pulling up to your door.