Are You Aware of Backup Power Requirements Enforced by the FCC?

In February, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will begin enforcing more stringent backup power rules.  Providers of facilities-based, fixed residential voice service, including fixed applications of wireless service offered as a residential service, that are not line powered (“Covered Providers”) should pay close attention to the rules.

Historically, copper-wire based systems were reliable during power outages.  But with the migration away from copper wires, the FCC issued new rules in 2015 that require providers to offer backup power solutions to new subscribers.

Currently, the FCC requires Covered Providers to offer subscribers backup power options at the point of sale.  Specifically, Covered Providers must offer at least one option that provides a minimum of eight hours of standby backup power.

The option may be a complete solution including battery or other power source, or it may be a component that enables the use of a battery obtained separately.  Backup power must provide sufficient power to enable 911 access in an emergency.

Effective February 13, 2019, the FCC’s rules increase the amount of backup power that providers must offer at the point of sale to a minimum of 24-hours of standby backup power.

In addition to the obligation to offer backup power, the FCC’s rules mandate disclosures to customers – at the point of sale and annually regarding: the availability of backup power sources; service limitations with and without backup power; backup power duration; instructions to test and monitor backup equipment; and warranty information.

If you have any questions about the backup power requirements, or for assistance with implementation of the rules, please contact Jackie Neff at jrn@commlawgroup.com.

 

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