Kari's Law

Multi-line Telephone System Background (MLTS)

On May 15, 2015, Governor Abbott signed SB 788 (Kari's Law). The law represents the culmination of efforts in the aftermath of the murder of Kari Hunt in a motel room in Marshall, Texas. Ms. Hunt’s 9-year-old daughter tried to call 9-1-1 for help four times from the motel room phone. The call never went through because she did not know to dial 9 for an outside line before dialing 9-1-1.

Kari's Law requires direct access to 9-1-1 service from a telephone system that provides outbound dialing without having to first dial a prefix or other access number or code. The law also requires all capable MLTS to be programmed to send notification of a 9‑1‑1 call to a central location on the premises of the site a 9-1-1 call is placed. Under Kari's Law, if an MLTS system cannot meet these requirements without substantial cost, a 1-year waiver of these requirements may be granted. If a waiver is granted, an instructional sticker must be placed adjacent to all noncompliant, outbound capable telephones that the phone is unable to directly access 9-1-1 without first requiring a prefix.

On February 10, 2016, CSEC adopted Rule 251.16, Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service.  The rule implements new Health and Safety Code Chapter 771A requiring all multi-line telephone systems that provide or allow outbound calling to allow for direct dialing of 9-1-1 (no initial digit, prefix, access code to reach an outbound line is permitted).  Mandatory compliance with the law begins September 1, 2016.  The primary purpose of the rule is to implement the statutory waiver process under which a business service user can obtain a one-year waiver (September 1 – August 31) of the law’s requirements upon the timely submission of an affidavit that (1) the business service user made a good faith attempt to reprogram or replace the telephone system; and (2) that reprogramming/replacing of a non-compliant telephone system would be unduly and unreasonably cost prohibitive.

Additional Background Information:

CSEC created a MLTS brochure which you can find here.  

In July 2016, CSEC created a Kari's Law PSA that you can view by clicking this link. You can also view the video below.

 May 14, 2014 Executive Director report here

Initial survey of 9-1-1 Test calls from hospitals, schools and hotels. The test calls to 9-1-1 determined if a call would be delivered directly to a PSAP. 

 January 23, 2015 press conference, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai  progress report on direct dialing to 9-1-1 and the importance of resolving MLTS issues, please click here.

Kari’s Law: Adopted New Rule

Below is a link to the adopted new rule 251.16, Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service (Kari’s Law) that the Commission approved for adoption at the February 10, 2016, Commission Meeting.

Rule 251.16: Direct Access to 911 Service

Affidavit - Kari's Law (Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service) One Year Waiver Request Form



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