F.C.C Commisioner Testifies to the Senate about Kari's Law
Sep 16, 2016 — I want to thank FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai for making good on his promises to stay with this to the end and for becoming a good friend. Thank you Sir!
TESTIMONY OF FCC COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI
U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE,
SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
“OVERSIGHT OF THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION”
SEPTEMBER 15, 2016
“Chairman Thune, Ranking Member Nelson, and Members of the Committee,
thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify this morning
Since 2012, it has been an honor to work with you on a wide variety of issues, from encouraging broadband deployment in rural America to freeing up more spectrum
for consumer use.
These days, we hear a lot about communications issues that engender vigorous disagreement, often along partisan lines. In my testimony, however, I want to focus on fiveimportant issues where we can reach consensus in the short term and benefit the American people.
This Committee and its Members have shown tremendous leadership in many of these areas.
The issues I will focus on are: (1) ensuring direct dial 911; (2) helping law enforcement locate 911 callers in emergencies, (3)freeing up 5 GHz spectrum for the next generation of unlicensed use; (4) opening up spectrum bands above 24 GHz for 5G and other innovative wireless technologies, and (5) moving forward with ATSC 3.0, the next generation broadcast standard.
I’ll start with the two public safety issues.
Direct Dial 911
Ensuring direct access to 911 is important both to me and the Members of this
Committee. Earlier this year, Senators Deb Fischer and Amy Klobuchar,
along with Senators John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, and Brian Schatz, introduced The Kari’s Law Act of 2016. I commend those Senators for their leadership.
Many people now know the tragedy that inspired this legislation. In December 2014, Kari Rene Hunt Dunn was attacked and killed by her estranged husband in a Marshall, Texas hotel room. Her nine year old
daughter, who was with her, tried calling 911 four times as she had been taught to do. But her calls for help never went through. That’s because the hotel’s phone system required guests to dial a “9” before calling 911.When I learned about this nearly three years ago now, I started an inquiry into the status of 911
dialing at properties across the country that use multi-line telephone systems. I wanted to understand the scope of the problem and what we could do to fix it. At the time, I gave Kari’s father, Hank Hunt, my personal commitment that I would do my best to ensure that no one would ever again confront that situation
Hank has been a tireless advocate for this cause. And significant progress has been made.But the job isn’t done. The Kari’s Law Act of 2016 would take us one step closer to accomplishing Hank’s mission.It would require that all multi
line telephone systems sold, leased, or installed in the United States allow direct 911 calling as the default setting. So
I applaud the efforts of Hank, Members of this Committee, and the many
others who are making a difference onthis issue.
Indeed, since I last testified before this Committee, the Committee approved Kari’s Law as a part of the
FCC Reauthorization Act of 2016 and the U.S. House
of Representatives passed its own version of Kari’s Law. So I hope that this bill soon becomes law.”
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