Klobuchar’s Kari’s Law legislation was included in the bipartisan bill; it will require manufacturers of multi-line telephone systems to allow callers to reach 9-1-1 without dialing a prefix or postfix
FCC reauthorization also includes Klobuchar’s provision to help protect callers from phone scams and Klobuchar-backed provisions to improve measuring of rural broadband coverage and increase the effectiveness of the Universal Service Rural Health Care Program
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today announced that several of her key priorities passed the Commerce Committee as part of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) Reauthorization Act of 2016. The measure included Klobuchar’s Kari’s Law legislation to require manufacturers and installers of multi-line telephone systems to allow callers to reach 9-1-1 without dialing a prefix or postfix. The FCC reauthorization legislation also includes Klobuchar’s provision to protect callers from phone scams. The legislation also includes Klobuchar-backed provisions to improve the measuring of rural mobile broadband coverage and to increase the effectiveness of the Universal Service Rural Health Care Program.
“In today’s world, communicating with each other efficiently is essential. This bipartisan bill takes important steps to modernize our communications systems, protect consumers from phone scams, and increase broadband access in rural areas,” said Klobuchar. “The bill also makes it easier to dial first responders in case of an emergency, a provision I’ve fought for. I’ll continue working with my colleagues until these important provisions are signed into law.”
Klobuchar successfully included the following provisions in the bipartisan FCC reauthorization bill:
· Kari’s Law: In 2013, Kari Rene Hunt of Texas was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room. When Kari’s 9-year-old daughter tried to dial 9-1-1 for help she could not reach emergency personnel because she did not dial “9” to reach an outside line. Klobuchar’s provision will require manufacturers of multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to create systems that allow callers to reach 9-1-1 without dialing a prefix or postfix.
· Phone Scam Prevention: Klobuchar’s provision will prevent transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller identification to recipients within the United States and through text messages. It will also require the FCC to publish on its website a report that identifies existing technologies that consumers can use to protect against misleading or inaccurate caller identification information.
Klobuchar-backed provisions in the FCC reauthorization bill include:
· Mobile Broadband Coverage Drive Testing in Rural Areas: This provision backed by Klobuchar requires the FCC to conduct a feasibility study on using Postal Service delivery vehicles to measure mobile broadband coverage in rural areas. If the FCC concludes using Postal Service vehicles is not feasible they are required to make other suggestions for accurately measuring rural mobile broadband coverage. In March, Klobuchar urged the FCC to improve its data collection efforts in rural areas.
· Improve Effectiveness of Universal Service Rural Health Care Program: This provision requires the FCC to report on the effectiveness of the Universal Service Rural Health Care Program, including recommendations for how to improve the program and whether existing support for telephone services should be transitioned to broadband only support. Klobuchar has led an effort with Senator John Thune (R-SD) to make skilled nursing facilities eligible for the program.