WASHINGTON, DC – The House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 582, the Kari’s Law Act of 2017, and S. 96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017. Both bills originated out of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
H.R. 582, introduced by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), would:
- Require that any multi-line telephone system connects directly to 9-1-1 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.
S. 96, introduced by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), would:
- Require the Federal Communications Commission to establish call completion standards for intermediary providers that sometimes have not routed calls properly in rural areas.
“While much has changed since the first 9-1-1 call was placed nearly fifty years ago, fast and reliable emergency communication, no matter where you are, is as important as ever. When an emergency strikes, Kari’s Law will help give every person in America the certainty that dialing 9-1-1 means 9-1-1, even if you’re calling from a hotel or office phone,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).
Walden and Blackburn continued, “Poor call quality, not to mention lost or failed calls, are still widespread problems for rural Americans across the country. By focusing on standards for call completion in rural communities, S. 96 ensures that Americans living in rural and remote areas will share the type of high-quality phone service many people in major cities take for granted.”
“Kari’s Law and the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act have been years in the making on the Energy and Commerce Committee. Both pieces of legislation will go a long way to increase public safety and improve the way rural communities make phone calls. We look forward to these critical bills being signed into law soon.”