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On December 12, 2013, the FCC announced proposed rules about Text-to-911 and invited the public to
comment on the new proposed requirements. This Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) is located at: http://www.fcc.gov/document/text-911-further-notice-proposed-rulemaking.
On January 9, 2013, the FCC announced the due dates for the public comments and reply comments. Due date for automated “bounce-back” error messages:
Comments: January 29, 2013
Reply comments: February 8, 2013
Due date for all other sections of the proposed rulemaking: Comments: March 11, 2013
Reply comments: April 9, 2013
Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to 911 from your mobile phone or handheld device. In the proposed rules, all wireless carriers, including certain providers of text messaging applications, such as iMessage, must make it possible for customers to send text messages to 911 to get emergency help. The four largest wireless carriers have already voluntarily committed to make texting to 911 possible by May 15, 2014.
However, because most 911 centers are not ready to accept text messages now, the FCC also proposed to require, by June 30, 2013, automated “bounce-back” error messages to consumers who send text messages to such 911 centers that are not ready to receive these messages. In other words, if you send a text message to a
911 center that does not have the ability to accept text calls, after June 30, 2013, that center will have to send you back a text message that informs you that you need to reach 911 in another way. These messages will continue until that center is able to receive emergency calls in text.
For more information about text-to-911, please visit the FCC webpage at: http://www.fcc.gov/text-to-911. For further information regarding this proceeding, contact Timothy May, Policy Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 481-1463.