Vol. 34 Iss. 24 - July 23, 2018

Chapter 425
Final Regulation

REGISTRAR'S NOTICE: The State Corporation Commission is claiming an exemption from the Administrative Process Act in accordance with § 2.2-4002 A 2 of the Code of Virginia, which exempts courts, any agency of the Supreme Court, and any agency that by the Constitution is expressly granted any of the powers of a court of record.

Title of Regulation: 20VAC5-425. Rules Governing Enhanced 911 (E-911) Service (amending 20VAC5-425-10 through 20VAC5-425-50; adding 20VAC5-425-45).

Statutory Authority: § 12.1-13 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: August 1, 2018.

Agency Contact: Sheree King, Manager, Public Utility Regulation, State Corporation Commission, P.O. Box 1197, Richmond, VA 23218, telephone (804) 371-9707, FAX (804) 225-1060, or email sheree.king@scc.virginia .gov.


The amendments include (i) adding and updating definitions; (ii) providing that written communications include emails, texts, and facsimiles; (iii) reducing the time for updating contact information from five business days to 24 hours; (iv) adding details regarding the information to be included in any semiannual verification of 911 billing information provided to a public safety answer point (PSAP); (v) expanding the duties of a local exchange carrier (LEC) to include priority restoration to a PSAP by the LEC; (vi) requiring local LECs to provide the Division of Public Utility Regulation with a copy of the annual reliability certification required by the Federal Communications Commission, 911 outage information during a recognized disaster in Virginia, and related service outage information, which information shall be afforded confidential treatment; and (vii) making minor updates and revisions.




CASE NO. PUR-2017-00076

Ex Parte: In the matter of revising
the Commission's Rules Governing
Enhanced 911 (E-911) Service


On June 23, 2004, the State Corporation Commission ("Commission") adopted Rules Governing Enhanced 911 (E-911) Service, 20 VAC 5-425-10 et seq. ("E-911 Rules") in Case No. PUC-2003-00103.1 The Commission initiated the E-911 rulemaking in response to complaints received from Public Safety Answering Point ("PSAP")2 administrators and local governments regarding the quality of E-911 service and billing issues associated therewith.3 At that time, the Commission noted that the reliability and accuracy of the E-911 service was essential to protecting the public safety and health of many Virginia citizens.4 Given the passage of time since the Commission established the E-911 Rules in 2004, the Commission concluded that it was appropriate to revisit the E-911 Rules and to make modifications, if necessary, due to changes in applicable laws and technological changes in the telecommunications industry.

On June 8, 2017, the Commission entered an Order Initiating Rulemaking Proceeding to determine whether, and the extent to which, any of the Commission's E-911 Rules should be revised. In this regard, the Commission directed the Commission's Staff ("Staff") to solicit comments from, and schedule a meeting or meetings (as necessary) with, stakeholders and persons having an interest in the Commission's E-911 Rules and the provision of E-911 service in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and to develop, with appropriate input from stakeholders and interested persons, a proposal for any revisions, if necessary, to the current E-911 Rules.

On March 30, 2018, the Staff filed a report ("Staff Report") detailing the Staff's efforts in this undertaking.  This included sending a letter to local government officials and certificated telephone companies seeking input on potential revisions to the E-911 Rules, and conducting a working group meeting of all interested stakeholders. The Staff Report also included proposed revisions to the current E-911 Rules recommended by the Staff as a result of this process.

On April 17, 2018, the Commission entered an Order for Notice and Comment ("Order") that found that proposed revisions ("Proposed Rules"), should be considered for adoption, and that interested persons should have an opportunity to comment on the Proposed Rules, to request a hearing thereon, or to suggest modifications or supplements to the Proposed Rules. The Commission also directed that a copy of the Proposed Rules be sent to all certificated local exchange carriers and the Registrar of Regulations for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations.

The Proposed Rules were published in the Virginia Register of Regulations on May 14, 2018.5 No one filed a request for a hearing on the Proposed Rules. Comments on the Proposed Rules were filed by Verizon Virginia, LLC, and Verizon South Inc. (collectively, "Verizon"), and the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association ("VCTA") on May 30, 2018.

Verizon commented on language in the Proposed Rules that would i) require priority restoration of service to a PSAP's emergency lines; and ii) govern outage reporting in conjunction with the Federal Communication Commission's voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System ("DIRS"). Verizon requested that the rule regarding priority restoration be clarified, and offered alternative language that focused on the timing of when a company would submit an outage report to the Commission if the company elects to submit its outage reports via the DIRS. The VCTA commented on language governing the new outage reporting requirement generally, and proposed alternative language it believed would clarify when a company must submit an outage report under the E-911 Rules.

On June 20, 2018, the Staff filed its response to the filed comments ("Response") in accordance with the Commission's Order. Staff discussed, but did not propose adoption of, the specific proposals made by VCTA and Verizon. Instead, Staff recommended modified language that it believes addresses the concerns of both VCTA and Verizon. Staff attached its proposed final revisions to the E-911 Rules to its Response.

NOW THE COMMISSION, upon consideration of the foregoing, is of the opinion and finds that the revisions to the E-911 Rules, as set forth and attached to this Order, should be adopted.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

(1) The Commission's Rules Governing Enhanced 911 (E-911) Service, 20 VAC 5-425-10 et seq., hereby are revised and adopted as attached to this Order, and shall become effective August 1, 2018.

(2) A copy of this Order, including the revisions to 20 VAC 5-425-10 et seq., shall be forwarded for publication in the Virginia Register of Regulations.

(3) This case is closed.

AN ATTESTED COPY hereof shall be sent by the Clerk of the Commission to all local exchange carriers certificated in Virginia as set out in Appendix A; Cliona Mary Robb, Esquire, Christian & Barton, L.L.P., 909 East Main Street, Suite 1200, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3095; Jennifer L. McClellan, Assistant General Counsel, Verizon, 703-713 E. Grace Street, 7th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219; and C. Meade Browder, Jr., Senior Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Division of Consumer Counsel, 202 N. 9th Street, 8th Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3424. A copy also shall be provided to the Commission's Office of General Counsel and Division of Public Utility Regulation.


1Commonwealth of Virginia, ex rel. State Corporation Commission, Ex Parte: In the matter of establishing rules governing the provision of enhanced 911 service by local exchange carriers, Case No. PUC-2003-00103, 2004 S.C.C. Ann. Rept. 201, Order Adopting Rules (June 23, 2004).

2A PSAP is a communications operation or facility operated by or on behalf of a governmental entity that is equipped and staffed on a 24-hour basis to receive and process telephone calls for emergency assistance from an individual who dials the digits 9-1-1. See, e.g., §§ 56-484.12 and 56-484.19 of the Code of Virginia.

3See Commonwealth of Virginia, ex rel. State Corporation Commission, Ex Parte: In the matter of establishing rules governing the provision of enhanced 911 service by local exchange carriers, Case No. PUC-2003-00103, Order for Notice and Comment or Requests for Hearing (Aug. 1, 2003).

4See id.

5On May 28, 2018, the Virginia Register of Regulations published an Errata containing certain corrections to its May 14th publication of the Proposed Rules.

20VAC5-425-10. Definitions.

The words and terms in § 56-484.12 of the Code of Virginia shall have application to this chapter. In addition, the following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Automatic location identification (ALI)" or "ALI" means the feature by which the name, service address, and supplemental emergency service information associated with the calling party's telephone number are forwarded to the Public Safety Answering Point public safety answering point (PSAP) for automatic display on the PSAP terminal equipment.

"Automatic number identification (ANI)" or "ANI" means a feature by which the telephone number associated with a network access line is initially generated and forwarded to a PSAP for display on a 911 terminal.

"Average busy hour" means the one-hour period during the week statistically shown over time to be the hour in which the most telephone calls are received.

"Commission" means the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

"Competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC)" or "CLEC" means an entity, other than a locality, authorized to provide local exchange telecommunications services in Virginia pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 of the Code of Virginia and 20VAC5-417.

"Competitive telephone company" or "CTC" means any ILEC or CLEC that has elected to be regulated as a competitive telephone company in accordance with Chapter 2.1 (§ 56-54.2 et seq.) of Title 56 of the Code of Virginia.

"Database error" means an error in ALI address information caused by a Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) LEC that affects the ability of a PSAP to route emergency services correctly.

"E-911 ALI database" means the set of ALI records residing on a computer system that is used with ANI to associate a physical location with a telephone number, including information such as name, telephone number, address, nearest cross street, and special preexisting conditions.

"E-911 services" means the tariffed services purchased by a jurisdiction for the purpose of processing wireline E-911 calls.

"Foreign central office service" means local exchange telecommunications service that is furnished from one central office to a location typically served by another central office.

"Foreign exchange service" means local exchange telecommunications service that is furnished from one exchange to a location typically served by another exchange.

"Incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC)"," "ILEC," or "incumbent" means a public service company providing local exchange telecommunications services in Virginia on December 31, 1995, pursuant to a certificate of public convenience and necessity, or the successors to any such company.

"Local exchange carrier (LEC)" or "LEC" means a certificated provider of local exchange telecommunications services, whether an incumbent or a new entrant encompassing ILECs, CLECs, and MLECs, including ILECs and CLECs regulated as CTCs.

"Local exchange telecommunications services" means local exchange telephone service as defined by § 56-1 of the Code of Virginia.

"Locality" means a city, town, or county that operates an electric distribution system in Virginia.

"Municipal local exchange carrier (MLEC)" or "MLEC" means a locality certificated to provide local exchange telecommunications services pursuant to § 56-265.4:4 of the Code of Virginia and 20VAC5-417.

"Network access line (NAL)" or "NAL" means a wireline line, trunk, or equivalent.

"New entrant" means a CLEC or an MLEC.

"P.01 grade of service" means a standard of service quality reflecting the probability that no more than one call out of 100 during the average busy hour will be blocked.

"Public safety answering point (PSAP)" or "PSAP" means a facility equipped and staffed to receive and process 911 calls and route them to emergency services personnel.

"Staff" means the commission's Division of Communications Public Utility Regulation and associated personnel.

20VAC5-425-20. General provisions.

A LEC shall:

1. Provide to its end-user customers access to E-911 service on all NALs where applicable;

2. Provide each relevant PSAP with a means for immediate access to LEC personnel to assist in PSAPs, while processing an emergency-related 911 call, obtaining E-911 record-related information that are capable of providing information related to the PSAP's E-911 services. Such LEC contact shall be available on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year. Any changes to this contact information shall be communicated in writing, including email, text, or facsimile, to affected PSAPs within five business days 24 hours;

3. Provide LEC company identification codes on each ALI record submitted to the E-911 ALI database provider;

4. Provide ALI record information such that its E-911 database error rate, for a given PSAP, is no greater than 1.0%. The ALI database error rate shall be the number of a LEC's incorrect ALI address records divided by the total number of a LEC's ALI records queried during a calendar quarter;

5. Submit, or cause to be submitted, no less than 95% of all E-911 ALI database affecting changes (including nonpublished and nonlisted telephone numbers) to the E-911 ALI database provider within 48 hours of the LEC's receipt of notice of the change and 100% within 72 hours, excluding holidays and weekends;

6. Correct, or cause to be corrected, any ALI record within 48 hours of receiving written notification, including but not limited to electronic mail ("e-mail") email, text, and facsimile, excluding holidays and weekends;

7. Exclude, or cause to be excluded, from the ALI database, ALI records that contain telephone numbers that cannot convey ANI;

8. Provide ALI record information relating to an E-911 emergency immediately upon the verbal request of a verified authorized agent of the PSAP;

9. Advise customers applying for foreign exchange, foreign central office service, or any other wireline service, when there is the potential for problems in reaching the appropriate PSAP;

10. Render to a requesting PSAP, where the LEC provides ALI database services, detail sufficient to verify the accuracy of ALI database telephone number, name, and address information and company identification codes for each ANI. Such information shall be provided to the PSAP by the LEC on no more than a semi-annual basis and at a reasonable cost;

11. Render to a PSAP, upon request, on no more than a semi-annual basis, at no charge, detail sufficient to verify the accuracy of its E-911 services billing. This shall include (i) the total number of LEC ANI records of customers within the PSAP's jurisdiction served at each LEC end office, and (ii) the names of the other PSAPs served by each LEC end office where it serves more than one jurisdiction; and

12. Notify each relevant PSAP at least 30 days prior to the commencement or discontinuance of local exchange telecommunications services.

20VAC5-425-30. Rates, and tariffs, and product guides.

A. A new entrant's rates for any E-911 services shall be no higher than the lowest applicable rates established by the largest ILEC, as measured by the number of its NALs, serving the geographic area of the relevant PSAP.

B. A LEC, if it provides and charges for E-911 services, shall structure its E-911 services so that it charges PSAPs only for those services that it renders.

20VAC5-425-40. Provisioning.

A LEC providing E-911 services shall:

1. Design, construct, maintain, and operate its facilities to minimize interruptions to E-911 services;

2. Determine E-911 service requirements in consultation with the relevant PSAP. These requirements shall be communicated to the PSAP prior to implementation and shall include detail sufficient to allow the PSAP to order E-911 service consistent with a minimum of a P.01 grade of service; and

3. Provide priority restoration to the PSAP in the event of an outage of the LEC providedE-911 ] services or facilities; and

4. Provide E-911 service consistent with the level of service ordered by a PSAP.

20VAC5-425-45. Reporting.

A. A LECproviding E-911 services ] shall [ inform:

1. Inform ] the staff of an E-911 service outage in Virginia by providing all reports required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under 47 CFR Part 4 as such FCC reports relate to 911 service. A LEC shall comply with all provisions of 47 CFR Part 4 related to report content, processing and delivery.; ]

B. 2. ] Upon request,a LEC shall ] provide to the commission or staff additional information related to 911 service outages not included in FCC reports as necessary to perform their oversight responsibility.; ]

C. A LEC shall provide 3. Provide ] the staff a copy of the annual reliability certification and any information submitted with or in addition to such certification required by the FCC under 47 CFR 12.4 that impact the reliability of 911 service in Virginia. Upon request, a LEC shall provide to the commission or staff additional information as deemed necessary to perform their oversight responsibility.; and ]

D. An 4. If the ] LECthat ] participates in the FCC's voluntary Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS)shall, contemporaneously, with providing to, provide all DIRS comparable information filed with ] the FCC, provide the staff with all comparable information ] related to 911 service outages to PSAPs located in Virginia as provided to the DIRSas soon as practicable, but in no case later than two hours, after reporting to the FCC ]. This requirement shall remain in place until DIRS is deactivated.

E. B. ] Any information provided to the staff in accordance with this section which the LEC designates as confidential shall be afforded confidential treatment in accordance with 5VAC5-20-170 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure. Staff, until otherwise ordered by the commission, shall maintain such confidential information in strict confidence and shall not disclose its contents to members of the public.

20VAC5-425-50. Waiver Commission authority.

The commission may, at its discretion, waive or grant exceptions to any provision of this chapter.

VA.R. Doc. No. R18-5466; Filed July 2, 2018, 1:44 p.m.