|(a) Purpose. The purpose of this rule is to facilitate
the implementation of Texas Health and Safety Code Chapter 771A ("Kari's
Law") requiring telephone systems that provide outbound dialing capacity
to be configured to provide direct access to 9-1-1 service and, in
instances where no hardware changes are necessary, to provide notification
of a 9-1-1 call to a central location on the site of the residential
or business facility from which a 9-1-1 call is made using a telephone
(b) Definitions. For the purposes of this rule:
(1) "9-1-1 service" means a communications service
that connects users to a public safety answering point through a 9-1-1
(2) "Additional location" means an optional location,
other than a central location, that receives notification of a 9-1-1
call that should be staffed 24x7 with personnel that can assist emergency
first responders in accessing the residential or business facility
from which a 9-1-1 call is made and determining the location of the
9-1-1 call, e.g., Campus Police, Security Office.
(3) "Business service" means a telecommunications or
communications service provided a customer where the use is primarily
of a business, professional, institutional, or otherwise occupational
(4) "Business service user" means a user of business
service that provides telecommunications or communications service,
including 9-1-1 service, to end users through a publicly or privately
owned or controlled telephone switch. Business service user includes
a "governmental body" as defined in §552.003, Government Code,
including an institution of higher education.
(5) "Central location" means a designated location
on the site of a residential or business facility from which a 9-1-1
call is made that receives notification of the 9-1-1 call. A central
location is not required to have a person available at the location
to receive or respond to the notification.
(6) "Commission" means the Commission on State Emergency
(7) "Internet Protocol enabled service" or "IP" has
the meaning assigned by §51.002, Texas Utilities Code.
(8) "Local exchange access line" or "Equivalent local
exchange access line" has the meaning assigned in Commission Rule
255.4 (Title 1, Part 12 Texas Admin. Code, §255.4).
(9) "Notification" refers to a telephone system feature
that can send notice to a central location and optional additional
location that a 9-1-1 call has been made. Common notifications include
"screen pops" with audible alarms for security desk computers using
a client application, text messages for smartphones, and email for
administrators. Where feasible, notification should provide the telephone
number or extension and location information of the telephone system
handset from which the 9-1-1 call is made.
(10) "Telephone switch" refers to the function of switching
inbound and outbound calls in order to allow multiple end-users to
share a defined number of local exchange access lines or equivalent
local exchange access line.
(11) "Telephone system" refers to a legacy system,
or equivalent system using Internet Protocol enabled service, comprised
of common control units, interconnected telephone or handsets, control
hardware and software, and adjunct systems that allow for advanced
features such as call handling and transferring, conference calling,
call metering and accounting, private and shared voice message boxes,
direct inward/outward dialing. A telephone system, commonly referred
to as a "multi-line telephone system" or MLTS, includes network and
premises based systems such as Centrex and VoIP, as well as private
branch exchange (PBX), Hybrid, and Key Telephone Systems (as classified
by the Federal Communications Commission under Part 68 of Title 47,
Code of Federal Regulations) and includes systems used, owned, or
leased by governmental agencies and political subdivisions, for-profit
businesses, and non-profit entities.
(12) Any term not expressly defined in this rule, has
the meaning assigned in Commission Rule 252.7, Definitions.
(c) A business service user that owns or controls a
telephone system that provides outbound dialing capacity or access
shall configure the telephone system to allow a person initiating
a 9-1-1 call on the system to directly access 9-1-1 service by dialing
in order the digits 9, 1, and 1 without an additional code, digit,
prefix, postfix, or trunk-access code. All non-compliant telephone
handsets that provide outbound dialing capacity or access must have
immediately adjacent to, and optionally on, the telephone the instructional
sticker required in subsection (d)(7).
(d) A business service user shall be granted a one-year
waiver (September 1 - August 31) of the requirements of Kari's Law
and this rule upon submission of an affidavit not later than September
1 of each year that provides:
(1) name (legal and any D/B/A), address, and contact
information of the business service user;
(2) address of all locations within Texas served by
a non-complaint telephone system;
(3) a narrative of efforts demonstrating a good faith
attempt to reprogram or replace non-compliant telephone systems;
(4) a statement that compliance with this rule is unduly
and unreasonably cost prohibitive;
(5) the manufacturer and model number of each non-compliant
telephone system and the estimated costs to reprogram or replace each
(6) a projected date for compliance with Kari's Law
and this rule; and
(7) confirmation that the business service user agrees
to or has placed an instructional sticker immediately adjacent to,
and optionally on, each non-compliant telephone handset instructing
the user how to access 9-1-1 service. The instructional sticker must
be printed in at least 16-point boldface type, in a contrasting color
using a font that is easily readable, and is written in English and
(e) A business service user's waiver request affidavit
may be submitted electronically to http://texas911.org/karislaw/ or
mailed to the appropriate address provided in the website link.
(f) A business service user that provides residential
or business facilities and owns or controls a telephone system that
provides outbound dialing capacity or access shall configure the telephone
system to provide notification when a person within a residential
or business facility dials 9-1-1 if the telephone system is able to
be configured to provide the notification without an improvement to
the system's hardware. The notification requirement is separate from
and in addition to the requirement in Texas law that "9-1-1 service"
connects a 9-1-1 caller to the public safety answering point designated
for the area from which the call is made.
(g) A business service user in compliance with this
rule is deemed a "third party or other entity involved in the providing
of 9-1-1 service" as that term is used to limit liability in §771.053,
Texas Health and Safety Code.