Federal Communications Commission
CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKIRE: Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to-911 and Other Next Generation 911 Applications, PS Docket
No. 11-153; Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment, PS Docket No. 10-255.
When faced with an emergency, one of the first things people do is reach out to seek help for themselves
or others. We communicate by whatever means we can, and more than ever a go-to means of
communications is text messaging. This is why one of the Commission’s top priorities has been
promoting the rapid deployment of NG 911. NG 911 will revolutionize the way consumers and first
responders interact, providing enhanced tools like text-to-9-1-1 to improve public safety and save lives.
Until text-to-911 is widely available, and especially during the transition, it is imperative that consumers
do not mistakenly believe that an undelivered text has been received by emergency authorities.
The automatic “bounce back” requirement now adopted by the Commission will quickly inform
consumers that text-to-911 service is not available and to contact emergency services by another means,
such as a voice call or, for individuals with disabilities, using telecommunications relay services to access
Importantly, today's action ensures that all consumers--whether using traditional SMS or interconnected
text services, such as messaging apps that can text any phone number--will get bounce-back messages
when 911 is unreachable by text. This is vital: As technology transitions continue the Commission must
continue to protect consumers and public safety.
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