PUC Issues Report on 911 Backup Power Obligations and Best Practices for Minimizing Disruptions to 911 Services During Power Outages
13 December 2019
The PUC submitted a report to the Vermont State Legislature addressing how providers of Voice Over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) voice information service comply with federal requirements for backup battery power availability for non-line-powered telephones. The report concludes that Vermont VoIP providers comply with the federal regulations. The report was prompted by power outages in November 2018 that left some Vermonters without the ability to place calls for 911 emergency services. The report also states that the PUC will initiate an investigation into electrical power losses and their impact on telecommunications resiliency, proposes voluntary best practices for Vermont VoIP providers, and recommends that further consumer education be conducted by the Vermont E911 Board with the Vermont Department of Public Service and Vermont Emergency Management to avoid a recurrence of the November 2018 public health and safety concern.