FCC Adopts Rules Regarding Reporting 988 Lifeline Outages

On July 21, 2023, the FCC released a Report and Order1 that adopted rules requiring service providers that have a role in the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (“Lifeline”) – including cable, satellite, wireless, wireline, interconnected VoIP providers, and those that provide capabilities to Lifeline – to report outages that potentially affect the 988 Lifeline to the Commission’s Network Outage Reporting System (“NORS”). These new requirements are consistent with existing 911 outage reporting requirements and service providers’ existing reporting procedures.2

Specifically, if there is a significant degradation in the ability of an end user to establish and maintain a channel of communication for a duration of more than 30 minutes that potentially affects at least 900,000 user-minutes, the service provider must file a report with NORS and also provide notice to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the 988 Lifeline administrator within 30 minutes of the outage. The Commission found that adopting these new reporting requirements will result in an industry-wide one time cost of $56,000 and annual recurring costs of $1,355,000.

The deadline for compliance with these new rules will be the latest of: 1) 30 days after the Commission issues a Public Notice announcing that the Office of Management and Budget has completed its review of any new information collection requirements, 2) for originating providers, 90 days after the publication of the summary of the Report and Order in the Federal Register, and for providers that provide Lifeline with the ability to receive, process, or forward calls, 9 months after the publication of the summary of the Report and Order in the Federal Register; or 3) the date the Commission’s updated 911 outage reporting and notification rules go into effect.

If you need assistance with compliance or would like to discuss this further, please contact Dee Herman at [email protected] or Shannon Forchheimer at [email protected].
[1] Ensuring the Reliability and Resiliency of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline; Amendments to Part 4 of the Commission’s Rules Concerning Disruptions to Commission’s Rules Concerning Disruptions to Communication; Implementation of the National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act of 2018, PS Docket Nos. 23-5 and 15-80, WC Docket No. 18-336, Report and Order (July 21, 2023).
[2] See 47 CFR § 4.9(h).