On Friday, June 26, the state of California approved telecommunications outage reporting requirements promulgated by the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Because the regulations were adopted on an emergency basis, they became effective on the day of approval. Thus, all facilities-based wireline and wireless providers in California that provide access to 911 service must now notify Cal OES when a "community isolation outage" occurs.

The Cal OES regulations define a "community isolation outage" as an event that "limits a telecommunications service provider's end users' ability to make 911 calls or receive emergency notifications." Outage thresholds are distinguished by service provider type:

  • For wireline telecommunications, VoIP, or IP-enabled service providers, a reportable outage is an event that:
    • (i) Lasts at least 30 minutes; and
    • (ii) Potentially affects at least 100 end users in a single ZIP code or at least 50 percent of end users in a ZIP code with fewer than 100 end users.
  • For mobile telephony service providers,1 a reportable outage is an event that:
    • (i) Lasts at least 30 minutes; and
    • (ii) Affects at least 50 percent of the carrier's coverage area in a single ZIP code.

If a reportable outage occurs, providers must call Cal OES and submit an initial notice by e-mail using Cal OES's "Community Isolation Outage Notification" form. Thereafter, providers must submit update notices by e-mail every six hours and a final notice by e-mail upon restoration of service.

Please contact us if you have questions or need clarification about this requirement.


1 "Mobile telephony service" is defined as "commercially available interconnected mobile phone services that provide access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) via mobile communication devices employing radio wave technology to transmit calls, including cellular radiotelephone, broadband Personal Communications Services (PCS), and digital Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR)." The term does not include "mobile satellite telephone services or mobile data services used exclusively for the delivery of non-voice information to a mobile device."