FCC Proposes Rules to Foster Text-to-911 Services


Recognizing the widespread use of texting as a primary means of communication, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called on texting service providers to accelerate the deployment of text-to-911 services.

In a Policy Statement and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued In January 2014, the Commission noted that four of the nation’s largest wireless carriers have already committed to provide text-to-911 services by May 2014 to those call centers that are technically capable of receiving text messages. The Commission called on all remaining wireless providers and interconnected text providers to work with the public safety community to promptly implement text-to-911 services in order to provide uniform access to 911 services across the country.

According to Commission data, 91 percent of American adults own a cellphone, and 81 percent of cellphone owners use text messaging, making text-to-911 services essential for both public safety authorities and citizens.

Read the Commission’s Policy Statement and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on text-to-911 service.