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New 9-1-1 Location Rules at Next FCC Meeting Jan 29

Date: 2015-01-20
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will consider new rules on 9-1-1 location accuracy during its first meeting of 2015 later this month, according to chair Tom Wheeler, and it’s likely the final rules will split between the the commission’s own proposal and a carrier agreement reached last year.

In a blog post on Jan. 6th, Wheeler noted the commission’s on-going public safety priority has been to improve location accuracy for wireless 9-1-1 calls. In the early days of cellular 9-1-1, most wireless usage occurred outdoors, he said. “But times have changed, and so has technology. The vast majority of 9-1-1 calls now come from wireless phones, increasingly from indoors.” In particular, he noted the “significant advances” with “the potential to locate indoor callers by address, floor, and apartment or room number.”

He mentioned the FCC’s proposed rules to improve 9-1-1 location accuracy, and also the roadmap created by the carriers and public safety organizations to improve accuracy. “The roadmap proposal is a big step forward,” Wheeler said, “but we also understand and appreciate the valid criticisms raised by some public safety stakeholders.” He revealed that he is circulating an order to fellow Commissioners, “that takes advantage of the good work done by the carriers, APCO, and NENA, while also providing confidence-building measures and backstop thresholds that set clear targets and deadlines for improving indoor location and hold parties accountable for results.” Wheeler didn’t explain how the two proposals might be combined into a single set of rules.

The FCC’s public meeting is scheduled for January 29th.  For more information, see: www.fcc.gov/

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via Dispatch Monthly, 1/7/15)

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