Network Outage Reporting System (NORS)


In 2004, the FCC established outage reporting rules to address the critical need for timely, complete, and accurate information about significant communications service disruptions that could affect homeland security, public health or safety, and the economic well-being of the nation.

Under this framework, eligible communications providers (wireline, cable, satellite, wireless, interconnected VoIP and Signaling System 7 providers) are required to report network outages that last at least 30 minutes and meet other thresholds in the Commission’s Network Outage Notification System (NORS). Data submitted to NORS is deemed confidential.

After determining that an outage is reportable, wireline, cable, satellite, wireless, and Signaling System 7 service providers must submit a NORS notification within 120 minutes with preliminary information. The service provider must submit an initial report of unavailability within three calendar days, followed by a final report no later than 30 days after the discovery of the unavailability.

Interconnected VoIP providers must submit a NORS notification either: 1) within 240 minutes of discovering an outage that potentially affects a 911 facility or 2) within 24 hours of discovering an outage that potentially affects 900,000 user minutes and results in complete loss of service or potentially affects all special offices and facilities. They must also file a final report within 30 days of discovering the outage.

Covered 911 service providers, or providers who aggregate 911 traffic from an originating service provider and deliver it to a 911 call center, must notify the designated 911 call center official as soon as possible, but no later than 30 minutes after discovering an outage affecting a 911 call center. The covered 911 service provider must provide all available information along with a name, telephone number and email address to which service provider can be contacted for follow-up. The Covered 911 Service Provider must also communicate additional material information to the applicable 911 call center as soon as it becomes available, but no later than two hours after the initial contact.

The Cybersecurity and Communications Reliability Division (CCR) of the Bureau of Public Safety and Homeland Security routinely analyzes NORS data to assess the extent of major outages, identify trends, and promote best practices in network reliability that can prevent or mitigate future disruptions. This analysis also informs agency outage investigations and recommendations to improve network reliability.

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Related material

For questions about NORS, contact:
Jerome Stanshine

Phone: 202-418-2417
Email: [email protected]

Michael Caiafa
Phone: 202-418-1311
Email: [email protected]


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