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FCC Acts to Help Emergency Responders Locate Wireless 911 Calls

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken steps to increase the indoor location accuracy of systems used by public safety officials to locate the source of 911 calls made from wireless phones.

In a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in February 2014, the Commission notes that consumers are rapidly replacing landline phones with wireless phones for use indoors. As evidence, the Commission notes that nearly 73 percent of 911 calls placed in California are made from wireless phones, and that approximately 80 percent of all smartphone use occurs indoors. Hence, the need for increased accuracy in locating emergency calls made from wireless phones indoors.

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The Commission has proposed interim indoor location accuracy metrics to be adopted by wireless providers, and has also proposed that wireless providers deliver vertical information location to enable first responders to identify the floor level for emergency calls originating in multi-story buildings. Over time, the Commission says that it would also like to implement highly specific indoor location accuracy standards that would enable first responders to identify room-specific source information for wireless 911 emergency calls.

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to increase the indoor location accuracy of systems used by public safety officials to locate the source of 911 calls made from wireless phones.

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