FCC Adopts Rules to Improve Routing of Wireless 911 Calls and Support Faster Emergency Response

The Federal Communications Commission (US) has adopted rules to more precisely route wireless 911 calls and Real-Time Texts (RTT) to 911 call centres, which can result in faster response times during emergencies and ultimately save lives.

Wireless 911 calls have historically been routed to 911 call centres based on the location of the cell tower that handles the call. But in some cases—for example, if a 911 call is made near a county or a city border—the nearest cell tower may be in a neighbouring jurisdiction. In these cases, the call may be routed to a 911 call centre in that neighbouring jurisdiction, not the call centre that serves the caller’s location. These wireless 911 calls must then be re-routed to the proper 911 call centre, which can waste valuable time and resources during emergencies.

The Commission has adopted rules that will require all wireless carriers to implement location- based routing nationwide for wireless calls and RTT communications to 911 call centres. With this approach, 911 voice calls and real-time texts will be routed based on the location of the caller as opposed to the location of the cell tower that handles that call. Using this precise location information to route 911 calls will result in millions more wireless 911 callers reaching emergency responders without the need for transfer or delay.

This is a press release from the Federal Communications Commission, available here: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-400011A1.pdf

*Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of EENA. Articles do not represent an endorsement by EENA of any organisation.

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