COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURNRe:
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.
One of the most necessary, challenging, yet rewarding aspects of this job is the ability to
negotiate and deliver some incredible opportunities for the people we serve through
policymaking. One thing not on the table for debate, however, is ensuing that our public safety
policies keep pace with the evolving demand for mobile communications services so that all
Americans may benefit from the advantages new technologies have to offer. Just a short while
ago, we were talking about how SMS texting is becoming more popular than voice calls. Now,
industry analysts debate whether over-the-top texting, which allows users to send free messages
to those using the same apps, will eclipse basic SMS texting in popularity. Little known tech
history fact: In mid-2013, the six most popular over the top text applications, averaged nearly 19
billion messages per day.
For the millions of Americans who live with hearing and speech challenges, SMS and
over-the-top texting services are invaluable. They also help in situations when a voice call to 9-1-
1 might be dangerous (such as during a home invasion), or when voice calls are being blocked
due to unusual network congestion. For these reasons, it is important that we continue to promote
greater deployment and adoption of text to 9-1-1 services.
Today's item builds upon the voluntary commitments made by four nationwide wireless
carriers and I wish to thank them once again, along with APCO and NENA, for their efforts to
promote timely deployments of text to 9-1-1 services to PSAPs.
To ensure these public safety services are available to all wireless consumers we
acknowledge that there is still more work to do. So I am pleased this item seeks comment on a
number of important aspects that will be part of the long term evolution of text to 9-1-1 services.
These elements include: (1) providing more precise location information in conjunction with
emergency texts, (2) delivering text-to-911 over non-cellular data channels, (3) and supporting
text-to-911 for consumers while roaming on CMRS networks.
Admiral David Simpson and his staff in the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
are to be commended, for their great work on this item.
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