Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Blog Posts by Admiral David Simpson

Closing the 911 Location Accuracy Gap

by Admiral David Simpson, Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
December 17, 2014 - 06:01 PM

Earlier this year, the Commission proposed rules to help first responders better locate indoor wireless 911 callers. The reason was clear: the vast majority of 911 calls are from mobile phones, and we are not where we need to be on location accuracy for wireless 911 calls. This puts American lives at risk and requires swift action from the FCC, from wireless carriers, and from public safety officials. Next Wednesday marks a deadline for public comments on the latest proposal we have received in this proceeding. To get this right, it is important that the Commission hear from stakeholders on many key questions.

Make no mistake, locating wireless 911 callers indoors is not easy. The technologies used to locate outdoor callers simply don’t work as well indoors. Additionally, today’s 911 location technologies can’t tell a 911 call center what floor a call is coming from.  Imagine the challenge this creates for an EMS technician when responding to a medical emergency in a 50-story skyscraper! 

First responders must be able to locate 911 callers – indoors or outdoors – quickly and accurately.  Even a few minutes of delay can cost lives. We must do better to close the gaps in our 911 safety net. And there’s good reason to think we will.

Read more »
close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.