Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 21.1
911 Emergency Telephone Number Act

R.I. Gen. Laws 39-21.1-5



 39-21.1-5.  Establishment of 911 service.


(a) The state shall establish a single, central statewide emergency 911 system equipped with selective call routing, automatic number identification, and automatic location identification. All telecommunication service providers who operate within this state shall provide access to the E-911 uniform emergency telephone system with selective call routing, automatic number identification, and automatic location identification capabilities in accordance with this chapter, with the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission and of the Rhode Island public utilities commission, and with such other rules and regulations promulgated by the 911 authority. Before the public utilities commission shall grant any license, permit, power, or authority to operate or shall approve any tariff, rate, or similar compensation measure to any telephone common carrier or telecommunication services provider pursuant to this title, it shall obtain a certificate of compliance from the 911 authority, certifying that the telephone common carrier or telecommunication services provider that is seeking such grant or approval is in compliance with the standards of quality of service, performance of service, and technological compliance adopted by the 911 authority pursuant to chapter 21 of this title. No license, permit, power, or authority to operate shall be granted, or any tariff, rate, or similar compensation measure be approved, until and unless the telephone common carrier or telecommunication service provider is in full compliance with such standards.

(b) The digits "911" shall be the primary emergency telephone number within the state.

(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit or discourage the municipalities to maintain separate, secondary backup telephone numbers for emergency and nonemergency telephone calls. Dissemination of the information contained in the database for any other than emergency purpose is prohibited. The 911 emergency telephone number is not intended as a total replacement for the telephone service of the public safety agencies. The public safety answering point will not use the 911 system for administrative purposes, for placing outgoing calls, or for receiving nonemergency calls.

(d) Any addition to the basic 911 system that may be required by any municipality may be made at the municipality's expense, provided that the addition is approved by the 911 authority.

(e) (1) The 911 authority and the telephone common carrier contracting with the authority shall not be liable for any inadequate database information submitted to the 911 authority by the municipality, its agents, or servants.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 31 of title 9, the telephone common carrier, its agents, and employees are hereby indemnified and held harmless by the 911 authority and the state for civil damages for any action or omission in connection with the 911 or E-911 systems unless the action or omission constitutes gross negligence or wanton and willful misconduct.

(f) Any expense incurred by a municipality shall not be deemed a state mandate pursuant to 45-13-9.

(g) The telephone common carrier shall not issue or permit the usage of any three-digit (3) telephone number for emergency purposes other than the digits "911" as provided in this chapter.

(h) The state of Rhode Island, the E-911 uniform emergency telephone system authority, local public service answering points, E-911 service providers, including telephone common carriers and telecommunication services providers and their respective employees, directors, officers, representatives, or agents shall not be liable to any person for civil damages resulting from or caused by any act or omission in the development, design, installation, operation, maintenance, performance, or provision of E-911 service, except to the extent due directly to its willful misconduct or gross negligence. Also, no provider of E-911 service, including a telecommunication services provider, shall be liable to any person who uses E-911 service, for the release of subscriber information, including but not limited to, billing information required under this act, to any public safety answering point or to the state of Rhode Island or the E-911 uniform emergency telephone system.

History of Section.
P.L. 1986, ch. 152, 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 236, 1; P.L. 1992, ch. 133, art. 65, 2; P.L. 1995, ch. 143, 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 123, 1.