The Vocal Minority of Opposition Kari’s Law

Your same Federal Communications Commission that decided to do a Friday news dump around Thanksgiving to eliminate franchise fees to communities to mostly fund First Amendment access content by municipalities for local cable TV subscribers is the start of a new F.C.C. that for an American should be extremely concerned. Not just a lack of democracy; or an agency  that isn’t worried about use of s-Bombs at midday TV programming; or even concerned about potential “white noise” of wireless devices as they continue to deregulate.

From 2014 to 2017, in various platforms, mostly at The Museum of Telephony, I wrote strong opposition against Kari’s Law, a law mandating at gunpoint to private businesses of how their private branch exchange can be used to call emergency services (e.g. 9-1-1.) Kari’s Law became a name in Texas by a then 29 year old woman who was slayed by an apparent creep and the daughter desperately “9-1-1” as she was taught against a hotel phone system, that often requires a trunk access code or TAC to get out.

Because Kari’s father, Hank Hunt was so bothered, and couldn’t learn that life sucks and some people perish in the most perverted way, he and an Avaya VP (vis a vis the Nortel Enterprise Unit) decided  to fantasy that the PBX was the murderer and as a result as of 2018, Kari’s Law is now enforced by the F.C.C.

Here was one narrative written by me  how such laws… just “coincidentally” against certain call centers controlled by government for the application of public safety. Government does no wrong, and Avaya never wants to punish PSAPs, just enterprises making money. No wonder why Avaya filed for Chapter 11 in 2016…

In fact, in 2018, 9-1-1 on Fox had a story where the fictional Los Angeles 9-1-1 operator was hanging up calls too early so she could meet a quota and as a result she was punished. In Avaya’s very perverted ways, businesses that are trying to do good by avoiding frivolous 9-1-1 calls. But Avaya’s leadership wants that to be a crime too – they just don’t say it explicitly…

A recent syndicated article from The Washington Post, reported a story in Houston, where a 9-1-1 operator, hung up on many calls, and some were life threatening. The 9-1-1 operator had the audacity to identify herself in one call as “Crenshanda”, who would later be identified as Crenshanda Williams, who was charged on two misdemeanor accounts of intercepting an emergency call.


I am not anti-government or claiming Fletch is a nanny state dude from Jersey or what. I feel if you want to ban a TAC to dial emergency, then abolish Part 68 all together and rent cell phones.

I am so wondering if so many people are cutting the cords on enterprise thanks to “Fletch”, et al that there is so many 911 calls not routing properly on mobile platforms. Now Avaya is trying to fix that by attacking “the 1960s” and “being stuck” to old solutions. This was written recently by “Fletch” too! So yeah Avaya is canalizing their very own forty year old products and services (eighty if you count the ol Nortel combined) because of political correctness and pushing “mandated” services. If anyone at Avaya thinks I am wearing a tin foiled hat, I’m not – and I strongly believe the Feds or states have zero business regulating PBX-related equipment past the demarc point. That’s not relevent.

It’s this attached image that gets underlooked. The human failures of 911. Hiring hacks to take life threatening calls and drop calls. States like Massachusetts where they blaintely use “trunk transfers” of 911 calls from the state’s call center for non landlines to the local PSAP and using Avaya Red PBX as their call center platforms. Or local PSAPs that “transfers” calls to another dispatch (like EMS) instead of bridging and splitting, etc. And let me tell you a bunch of PSAPs in Mass have PBX or fancy Key systems, so there isn’t an excuse for life or death calls.

Do you hear these stories ever published by the niche media? NO!

But expect nothing from Avaya on government regulation on the government themselves. It’s disappointing. So many people are jumping onto Cisco risking quality telephony over Avaya’s apparent failures to retain customers. Avaya (err Nortel) is the Apple of 1990s. I don’t think Cisco will pull a Microsoft and bail them out.

Originally Published to The Museum of Telephony in October 2016.