Important Message for Washington, DC Service Providers

Area Code Overlay Approved for the Washington, DC 202 Area Code

Attention: Alarm and Security Service/Equipment Providers

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia approved the addition of the new 771 area code to the geographic region served by the 202 area code.  This process is known as an area code overlay.

What is an area code overlay?

An overlay is the addition of another area code (771) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (202). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code or telephone number but does require using a new dialing procedure to complete calls.

What will be the new dialing procedure?

The new dialing procedure will require that all calls in the 202 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number.  The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers that are assigned with the new 771 area code.

How does this affect providers of alarm and security services and equipment?

As a result of the overlay, a new local dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. 

Alarm and security services and equipment currently located in the 202 area code and programmed to dial only seven digits must be updated or reprogrammed to dial area code + telephone number for all calls in the 202/771 area code.

Reprogramming of alarm equipment should be completed by October 9, 2021.

To verify that equipment can complete calls to the new 771 area code, a special test number, 771-990-TEST (8378), will be in service beginning August 9, 2021 and it will remain active through December 9, 2021.

When will the change begin?

Effective April 10, 2021, if you have a 202 area code, you should begin dialing the area code + telephone number whenever you place a call.  If you forget and dial just seven digits, your call will still be completed.

Beginning October 9, 2021, if you have a 202 area code, you must dial the area code + telephone number on all calls, including calls within the same area code.  On and after this date, if you do not dial the area code + telephone number, your calls will not complete and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again, including the area code.

Beginning November 9, 2021, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 771 area code.

What will remain the same?

  • Telephone number, including current area code, will not change.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.
  • What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
  • Emergency services can still dial just three digits to reach 911.
  • If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, these calls may still be dialed using just the three digits.

Who may you contact with questions?

Customers with questions regarding the dialing procedure change should be directed to their local service provider, or they can contact the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia at



Co-Chairs for the DC 202/771 Area Code Industry Team

Laura Dalton,

Karen Riepenkroger,

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – New Dialing Code

Please read the announcement regarding changes needed to be made by intrusion and fire services companies in preparation for the nationwide implementation of 988 as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

It is imperative that alarm companies reprogram alarm panels in customers’ premises if they currently are programed to dial out seven digits to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.  If they are dialing out seven digits now, they must be re-programed to dial out a ten-digit number which includes the area code plus telephone number.  Such updates or reprogramming must occur between April 24, 2021 and October 24, 2021 (the permissive dialing period).  Starting these efforts before April 24, 2021 may result in failed calls if permissive 10-digit dialing has not yet been implemented.  The changes need to be completed by October 24, 2021.

No change is needed if the alarm panels are currently dialing out ten-digits, or if they are dialing out a toll free number (800, 888, 844, etc.) to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.

Additional information about this transition on the NANPA website at


TMA Welcomes Texas PSAP

The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) is the 72nd Emergency Communications Center (ECC) in the United States to implement the (ASAP) and the 10th ECC in the state of Texas to implement ASAP. The GCSO went live with Vector Security and Rapid Response, at 8am CDT on Wednesday, July 22nd followed by Security Central, Guardian Protection, Tyco (Johnson Controls), the National Monitoring Center, AT&T Digital Life, Vivint, Affiliated Monitoring, and Protection One.  Alert 360 and ADT are scheduled to go live with the GCSO within the next 2-3 weeks. 

“The implementation of ASAP to PSAP within the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office ECC is anticipated to provide improved efficiency, accuracy and expedition responding to Police, Fire and EMS alarm calls.  This includes business and residential alarm calls within the unincorporated communities of Galveston County, the City of Hitchcock, the City of Clear Lake Shores, the Village of Tiki Island and the City of Bayou Vista”, said Lt. Margo Ihde, Division Commander of Communications. “The Sheriff’s Office is enthusiastic about this advancement to better serve our community; increasing our ability to assist in saving lives and protecting property by decreasing the amount of time it takes to dispatch and subsequently respond to in progress alarm calls.” 

Learn more about ASAP-to-PSAP.

FCC Will No Longer Issue Warnings

On May 1, the FCC adopted an Order ending its practice of warning most robocallers before issuing penalties for violating the law and for harassing consumers with unwanted robocalls. Such warnings were previously required by law until the TRACED Act was enacted in December 2019.

Specifically, under the prior statutory requirement, the FCC had to issue robocallers that did not otherwise fall within its jurisdiction warnings—formally called citations—related to their alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (by, for example, robocalling cell phones without prior consumer consent) before the agency was able to move forward with an enforcement action. In addition, prior to the TRACED Act, any fine the FCC proposed for TCPA violations by robocallers could be based on violations that occurred only after the warning had been issued. While caller ID spoofing violations—namely, the use of spoofing to scam consumers—did not require warnings, the act of illegal robocalling by these scammers did.

In addition, the FCC action extends the statute of limitations during which robocallers can be fined for TCPA and for spoofing violations. Until now, the FCC had either one or two years, respectively, from the day a violation took place to propose a fine, and only the violations that took place within that timeframe could be included when calculating the proposed forfeiture. With this change, the FCC has four years to propose a fine for spoofing and intentional robocall violations. The Order also increases the maximum fines for intentional robocall violations.

“Robocall scam operators don’t need a warning these days to know what they are doing is illegal, and this FCC has long disliked the statutory requirement to grant them mulligans,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “We have taken unprecedented action against spoofing violations in recent years and removing this outdated ‘warning’ requirement will help us speed up enforcement to protect consumers. With strong enforcement and policy changes like mandating STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication and authorizing robocall blocking, we are making real progress in our fight against fraudsters.”

FCC Concludes Sharing of Consumers’ Real-Time Location Data Violates Federal Law

After an extended investigation, the FCC Enforcement Bureau has concluded that at least one wireless carrier apparently violated U.S. law by improperly disclosing consumers’ location data.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the agency’s conclusion in a January 31 letter to Congress. While the letter did not identify any carriers by name, it confirmed that one or more Notice(s) of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture would be issued in the coming days in connection with the apparent violation(s). 

“I am committed to ensuring that all entities subject to our jurisdiction comply with the Communications Act and the FCC’s rules, including those that protect consumers’ sensitive information, such as real-time location data,” said Chairman Pai.

The security of consumers’ real-time location data is an issue that gained widespread attention in 2018 after press reports revealed that carriers including T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T were selling phone geolocation services to outside companies.  While it is common knowledge that law enforcement agencies can track phones with a warrant to service providers or through the use of IMSI catchers (also known as “Stingrays”), what

journalists found was that data made available to asset tracking and other legitimate enterprise location service providers was being resold to a host of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, with little or no oversight.  Compounding this already highly unscrupulous business practice, this data was then being leaked and/or resold to black market data brokers. An investigation by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) into the commercial relationships between Verizon and a pair of obscure data vendors found that one of Verizon’s indirect corporate customers, a prison phone company called Securus, had used Verizon’s customer location data in a system that effectively let correctional officers spy on millions of Americans.

Shortly after the reports surfaced, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint announced that they would no longer share customers’ location data with third-party companies who failed to adequately protect the data. The FCC took up the matter in early 2019 after FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel sent letters to major phone companies to confirm whether they lived up to their commitments to end these location aggregation services.

Commissioner Rosenworcel criticized the agency for its delay in taking enforcement action in a written statement..

“For more than a year, the FCC was silent after news reports alerted us that for just a few hundred dollars, shady middlemen could sell your location within a few hundred meters based on your wireless phone data. It’s chilling to consider what a black market could do with this data. It puts the safety and privacy of every American with a wireless phone at risk.

Today this agency finally announced that this was a violation of the law. Millions and millions of Americans use a wireless device every day and didn’t sign up for or consent to this surveillance. It’s a shame that it took so long for the FCC to reach a conclusion that was so obvious.”

While the focus of this violation investigation is on provision of location information to third party aggregators, one can wonder whether the FCC’s crackdown will cause the cellular carriers to be more difficult to deal with on the new direct provision arrangement we understand alarm companies have worked out for location info.

The Fight Continues to Reclassify Public Safety Telecommunicators

In July, APCO provided an update on the 9-1-1 SAVES Act, which would reclassify public safety telecommunicators as Protective Service Occupations (as opposed to administrative/clerical). The provisions of 9-1-1 SAVES were included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a separate bill that had passed the House of Representatives. As APCO explained, the process forward for the NDAA was complex and required reconciliation of the differing House and Senate versions of the bill.

According to a recent report, the final version of the NDAA will not include the reclassification provision. However, the standalone 9-1-1 SAVES Act remains alive. Bipartisan support continues to grow, with 114 U.S. Representatives and 26 U.S. Senators sponsoring the bills.

APCO will continue fighting for passage of the 9-1-1 SAVES Act. If you have not already done so, please encourage your Members of Congress to support the 9-1-1 SAVES Act.


New Year’s ASAP® News: Vivint is Latest Company to Connect

Implementation of the “Automated Secure Alarm Protocol” is Building Nationwide;
Boca Raton is First Connected PSAP in Florida

VIENNA, VA (January 12, 2016) – Vivint, one of the largest smart home technology providers in North America with more than one million customers, is the latest national alarm company to go live with ASAP®.

“We are very pleased to announce that Vivint has completed testing and officially is live with ASAP messaging,” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow. “They join the ever-growing list of companies actively participating in this technology and further increasing our accuracy and speed at getting emergency information to the first responders.”

“We are excited to be live with our first PSAP—Richmond, VA,” said Amy Becht, Vivint Director of Central Stations. “We plan on steadily adding additional PSAPs in the coming weeks.”

CSAA announced in December that Vector Security and Rapid Response went operational in production with Boca Raton on December 16, followed by Monitronics on December 17. This is the first ASAP implementation in the state of Florida. “We had great momentum throughout 2015 and look forward to the continuation of added PSAPs and connected alarm companies in 2016,” said Petrow.

ASAP was launched in 2011 as a public-private partnership, designed to increase the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). ASAP utilizes ANSI standard protocols developed cooperatively by the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) and the Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA).

With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed more quickly, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program has the potential to save PSAPs and emergency services millions of dollars.

For more information on ASAP or to access ASAP resources (videos, webinars, training and outreach materials), contact CSAA at or 703-242-4670, or visit


Bill Hobgood to Receive CSAA Public Sector Award

Richmond, VA’s Bill Hobgood is Recipient of Inaugural CSAA Public Sector Award

Public Safety Project Manager Recognized for Tireless Work on Behalf of the ASAP® Program

 VIENNA, VA (June 18, 2015) – CSAA International announced that Bill Hobgood, Project Manager, Public Safety Team in the Department of Information Technology for the City of Richmond, Virginia, is the recipient of CSAA’s inaugural Public Sector Award. This special honor is given by CSAA in recognition of a public sector individual’s contribution to the alarm industry.

“Over the past several years, Bill has worked tirelessly to promote and implement ASAP®, a program that increases the efficiency and reliability of emergency electronic signals from central station alarm companies to Public Service Answering Points (PSAPs),” said CSAA President Pamela J. Petrow. “Bill is the ideal recipient of this inaugural award–he has been an indefatigable advocate for the ASAP program, which benefits both the private and public sector.”

“I am deeply honored to receive CSAA’s Inaugural Public Sector Award,” said Hobgood. “Having personally developed the first ASAP to Computer-Aided Dispatch interface for York County, VA and the City of Richmond, VA that was launched in 2006 as a two-and-a-half year pilot, I realized from day one that the ASAP program would become the win-win that it has for public safety and the alarm industry with the primary beneficiary being the community that we serve. The ASAP program has a proven track record of successes across the United States made possible due to faster responses by public safety responders.”

Hobgood was nominated for the award by Vector Security and by CSAA Past President Louis T. Fiore. “This award is so well-deserved!” said Fiore. “Bill has done a great deal for CSAA, ASAP and the industry as a whole, and I congratulate him on this recognition.”

ASAP was launched in 2011 as an initiative by the alarm industry in a cooperative effort between the Association of Public Communications Officials (APCO) and CSAA. With ASAP, critical life safety signals and accurate information is processed in seconds, not minutes, through the Nlets system of state-to-state PSAP communication, insuring that critical time is not lost, and that complete and accurate information is transmitted to the PSAP every time. The ASAP program also helps reduce false alarms, and may save the PSAPs and emergency services potentially millions of dollars.

“ASAP is a critical initiative that will improve public safety,” said Petrow, “and it is being implemented all around the country thanks to Bill.”

“The program continues to expand to additional Public Safety Answering Points and alarm central stations at a rapid pace,” Hobgood said. “It has been personally rewarding each time I learn of another PSAP or central station that has joined the program. This program really works and I am thankful to be part of it.”

Hobgood’s efforts to promote and implement ASAP include:


  • Assuming the role of technical lead for the original pilot in 2006 and achieved the first Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) interface
  • Serving as Co-Project Manager for APCO with the IJIS Institute on the Public Safety Data Interoperability Program that led to the development of the IEPD for the ASAP program
  • Serving as Chair of APCO’s Data Transfer Committee that led to the program becoming an American National Standard
  • Promoting the ASAP program to many groups in at least 40 presentations including:
    • APCO International annual conferences
    • Local and regional APCO/NENA chapter conferences
    • Justice Clearinghouse webinars
    • CAD provider user groups
    • Best of NIEM webinars
    • IJIS Institute Symposiums and Briefings
    • ASIS Security conferences
    • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conferences
    • Law Enforcement Information Management (LEIM) conferences
  • Working with each central station that participates in the ASAP program to certify their automation with the City of Richmond CAD system in conforming to the ANSI standard
  • Working with many of the PSAPs that are operational today with the ASAP program including:
    • City of Richmond, VA
    • York-Williamsburg-Poquoson, VA
    • James City County, VA
    • Washington, DC
    • Houston, TX
    • Henrico County, VA
  • As subject-matter-expert on the ASAP program, answering technical questions from PSAPs and central stations, reaching out to PSAPs for feedback and follow up, and participating in monthly ASAP committee conference calls to keep CSAA informed

Hobgood will be presented with the award at the Electronic Security Expo (ESX) Public Sector luncheon on Wednesday, June 24, at the Baltimore Convention Center. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 or

About CSAA International

The Central Station Alarm Association International (CSAA) is an internationally-recognized non-profit trade association that represents professional monitoring companies that are listed by a CSAA-approved Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, such as FM Global, Intertek/ETL or UL. CSAA is legally entitled to represent its members before Congress and regulatory agencies on the local, state and federal levels, and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) over the industry. Since its incorporation in 1950, CSAA has served its members’ interests through education, online training, meetings and conventions, certification, insurance, and industry standards. For more information, contact Elizabeth Lasko at CSAA, 703-242-4670 x 16.


News for ASAP Program – June 13, 2013






ASAP on Fast track

 The ASAP to PSAP program is moving at a fast pace.  In under two years, 30+ ASAP Charter members are contracted to participate in the ASAP program.

ASAP program opens specialized wiki

The ASAP Outreach committee has launched the Charter members only wiki link for participants in the ASAP program.   The wiki houses information from “how to get my alarm company ready” to “how do I get my PSAP to participate” as well as tips and contacts. To gain access to the wiki, log onto

ASAP Message Broker Goes “Live”

On Monday, April 16, the long awaited CSAA message broker server—a critical component of the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol (ASAP)—became operational in the production environment.
The City of Richmond (Va.) Police Department’s Division of Emergency Communications and Vector Security, two of the three original ASAP pilot participants, migrated to the CSAA message broker officially at 1 p.m. EST on April 16. The migration was seamless and transparent for the end users at both Vector Security’s and Richmond’s 911 PSAP, according to Bill Hobgood, project coordinator for APCO and project manager for the city of Richmond’s Department of Information Technology Public Safety Team.
Anita Ostrowski, Vector Security’s vice president for central stations, says that operators at Vector Security received very brief, informal training that was required when Vector migrated to the production message broker. No formal training or in-depth training program was required for Vector’s migration.
The message broker is a combination of hardware and software intended to perform a middleware function between Nlets and the alarm monitoring companies that want to take advantage of ASAP. It performs error checking and ensures that the transmissions from the alarm monitoring companies are properly formatted before sending the message to Nlets for subsequent forwarding to the appropriate state control point and ASAP-participating PSAP.
Notes CSAA Immediate Past President Ed Bonifas, vice president of Alarm Detection Systems and co-chair of CSAA’s ASAP Steering Committee, “This sets the stage for the future participation of additional alarm monitoring companies. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.”