FCC Requirement that Covered Service Providers offer a 24-hour Back Up Service


The Federal Communications Commission, also known as the FCC, is an independent government agency in the USA that is responsible for regulating the radio, television and phone industries. They regulate all communications like wire, satellite, and cable for interstate and international communications.

Back in October 2015, the FCC released a docket with different rules and regulations that were to take effect at different stages. In the document, the FCC made rules and regulations to promote continued access to 911 in the event of a power outage. They made it a requirement that providers of facilities-based and fixed residential voice services offer their customers the option to purchase a backup solution. In the beginning, the backup solution had to be capable of 8 hours of standby power and in the next three years had to upgrade to 24 hours of standby power.

Well, the three-year mark is fast approaching. On February 13th, 2019, all service providers must offer to sell a backup solution that is capable of 24 hours of standby backup power.

As per the docket, the provider can offer the backup power obligation at their own discretion by: “(i) A complete solution including battery or other power source; or (ii) Installation by the provider of a component that accepts or enables the use of a battery or other backup power source that the subscriber obtains separately.”

Basically, if the provider can not offer a complete solution (option 1) then they must install a compatible battery or power source if their subscriber requests it. The backup solution the service provider chooses must include power for all of the provider’s devices that need to be powered to make an emergency call.

Not only do service providers have to provide a solution to for 24 hours of standby backup power, but they must also make known the following information:

“(ii) Service limitations with and without backup power;
(iii) Purchase and replacement information, including cost;
(iv) Expected backup power duration;
(v) Proper usage and storage conditions, including the impact on duration of failing to adhere to proper usage and storage;
(vi) Subscriber backup power self-testing and -monitoring instructions; and
(vii) Backup power warranty details, if any.” (as per the docket)

The FCC is trying to promote the education behind continued access to 911 services and backup services. If you are a reseller, simply posting the information on your website or within the private subscriber portal is not a compilable way to meet the requirements. Service Provider Resellers must post the above information and offer the solution to their customers.

I know this is a lot and can be overwhelming, especially if you are a Service Provider Reseller. We at Bicom Systems wanted to let our partners know about this change. However, all Service Provider Resellers should have been offering 8-hour backup power supplies at the point of sale since the docket was released in 2015.

If you are a Bicom Systems partner and would like more information on how you should handle these new requirements, please contact us today.

Over-the-Top Services

OTT Services

Telcos have had to adapt to change arguably more than any other industry. With the advances that have been made in everyday technology use, it’s becoming harder and harder for telcos to compete with other service providers. The growth of OTT services is clearly taking a toll on telcos due to changing customer preferences.

Over-The-Top (OTT) services are services that are used on top of the basic network services you get from your provider. These services have become much more common thanks to the smartphone. Having a device with such capabilities at our reach at all times has increased communications drastically. VoIP now allows us to make cheap and even free calls and SMS’. However, recently, data has been added to the mix. This poses a threat to telcos which they have not been trying to find a solution to. Telco subscriptions do mean that your are continuously paying for these services, however, you are also not fully reaping the benefits. The danger in this case is the loss of revenue stream from telcos, which in turn makes it harder for them to compete and provide reliable service all the time.

OTT players are thus able to offer better services than telcos nowadays. These providers have continuously adjusted to changing consumer behaviours to guarantee the best service. OTT services have had a huge impact on revenues for telecom operators and that is understood by stakeholders worldwide. With the growth of OTT VoIP, the overall global telco voice revenues will drop drastically from $970.4B to $799.6B by 2020. This is mainly due to the annual growth rate of 20% of the OTT VoIP market.

In a fast-growing environment such as the one OTT providers operate in, it’s important to listen to customers’ needs and aim to satisfy them. Trends have lately been the increased need of personalization and customization. OTT providers have unique and one-of-a-kind solutions to all your needs and will provide you with the solution that best suits you. This is then more convenient for customers, which is why they are willing to pay a premium. The next trend is advancements in technology. With great advancements from GSM to LTE, OTT providers can exploit this by undercutting and providing better rates to their customers, while not compromising quality. Lastly, messaging preferences have probably permanently shifted from traditional SMS to OTT messaging services. This is primarily driven by cost and the increased usage of the smartphone.

As for Voice OTT services, they are arguably the easiest to add. The main argument for this is that they rely on IP networks and the internet to carry the calls; meaning no need to set up complicated and bulky hardware. You are also able to construct the solution you want yourself which makes it extremely user friendly.

OTT providers have come to stay, with no signs of stopping anytime soon. Now is the best time to be competing in one of the fastest growing industries.

How To Sell VoIP: A $140B Industry

How To Sell VoIP

“The VoIP market is expected to grow over 9% in the next 3 years,” and any telco service provider wants to be a part of that growth. In order to be a part of the $140B industry, it is imperative to know the right tactics that will make your product or service sell. Despite all of this promising news, many still don’t know that they need VoIP or are hesitant to switch.

The guide below will make your dive into VoIP a lot easier and enhance your experience with something that might seem very intimidating. It includes 5 key steps on how to: build your VoIP service, market your VoIP service, overcome VoIP selling challenges.

Download your copy here to cement your part in a $140 billion industry

Register for the webinar

How To Sell VoIP

Learn More about the Telco Service Providers Network

telco networkHave you joined TSPN yet? The Telco Service Providers Network is a community for telecom professionals to discuss, share, and learn together.

TSPN had its first in-person meeting at ITEXPO in Ft. Lauderdale last week. If you missed the meeting and want to learn more, listen to Sheila Belzil’s interview with Telecom Reseller below:


Sheila, the TSPN administrator, talks about how the group got started, how members benefit from the community, and what’s coming up in the future of TSPN.

Join the network at www.linkedin.com/groups/7067017 or by typing “TSPN” into your LinkedIn search bar. We’ll see you there!

More posts like this one:

Telco Service Providers Network

telco service providers networkThe Telco Service Providers Network is the place for Service Providers, CLECs, and all other kinds of Telcos to come together and discuss everything from how to get more sales to how to reduce costs to how to run your business more efficiently.

Whether you are hosting with someone else, trying to create your own software, renting, or invested in a large system, this is the place to find new ideas.

Join the network today and we will start a discussion with any questions or ideas you have. We can’t wait to see you there!

More posts like this one: