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07/09/2016

A US internet giant is doing what the EU refused to do to improve emergency calls

Opinion piece by Gary Machado, EENA Executive Director


A US internet giant is doing what the EU refused to do to improve emergency calls

 

 

 

The European Commission is missing a big chance to give the emergency number 112 a needed boost, writes Gary Machado.

 

 

 

 

How is it possible that the EU managed to do so much to get rid of roaming fees but so little to fix some technical problems with the European emergency phone number 112?

The European emergency phone number 112–which is already available–is one of the many topics the EU institutions struggle to communicate about. Decades after the emergency number was created by an EU law, 112 remains unknown to the vast majority of Europeans.

The European Parliament has loudly supported improving the 112 service for about 10 years, notably the caller location technology. Emergency services need to know where you are to rescue you.

Today in Europe, 75% of emergency calls are made from mobile phones, but the location accuracy – or rather inaccuracy – provided to rescuers is off by two kilometres on average, with some location data that is off by 10 km or more.

The Commission is about to miss an opportunity to make needed changes to support 112 as part of its proposal to overhaul EU telecoms law next week.

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