PSHSB Announces Workshop On E911 Location Accuracy
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: September 9, 2013
PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU ANNOUNCES
WORKSHOP ON E911 PHASE II LOCATION ACCURACY
PS Docket No. 07-114
Workshop Date: October 2, 2013
Comments Due: September 25, 2013
public workshop to discuss recent developments in the use of wireless technology to contact emergency
services. The workshop will explore current trends that may be affecting the provision and quality of 911
location information delivered to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), including the increased
volume of wireless 911 calls and the increase in wireless calls originating from indoor locations. The
workshop will also examine issues raised in the August 12, 2013 ex parte filing by the California chapter
of the National Emergency Number Association (CALNENA) regarding the percentage of wireless 911
calls in which E911 Phase II location information is provided to PSAPs. 1 Finally, the workshop will
explore potential solutions that could improve the delivery of accurate E911 location information. The
workshop will be held at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC, 20554. Further
details regarding the workshop participants, panels, and times will be announced by future public notice.
In advance of the workshop, the Bureau invites interested parties to comment on the issues listed
below that will be the subject of discussion at the workshop. The Bureau also intends to make certain
wireless 911 call tracking data relating to the provision of Phase II location information available in the
record of PS Docket No. 07-114, and invites interested parties to submit relevant call tracking data as
well, which will likewise be placed in the docket for public review and comment.
TOPICS FOR COMMENTWireless usage has expanded significantly over the past few years. Americans are not only
using wireless phones for a greater percentage of calls, they are increasingly using wireless
phones for all calls, including calls to 911 from indoor environments.2 How have wireless
1 Letter from Danita L. Crombach, ENP, CALNENA, to the Honorable Mignon Clyburn, Chairwoman, Federal
Communications Commission, PS Docket No. 07-114 (filed Aug. 12, 2013) (CALNENA ex parte).
2 J.D. Power's 2011 Wireless Call Quality Study Volume 1, conducted during the second half of 2010, showed that
an average of 56 percent of wireless calls were made from indoors, up from 40 percent in 2003. See J.D. Power and
Associates, 2011 U.S. Wireless Call Quality Performance Study, Volume 1, available at
http://www.jdpower.com/content/press-release/Kp2D0Ys/wireless-call-quality-performance-study.htm (last visited
Sept. 9, 2013) (J.D. Power 2011 Wireless Call Quality Study Vol. 1). Also in 2011, Consumer Reports stated that
60 percent of 911 calls were placed through wireless phones. See For 911, is a Cell Phone as Safe as a Landline?,
CONSUMER REPORTS MAGAZINE, (Jan. 2011), available at http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-
archive/2011/january/electronics/best-cell-phones/911-from-cell-phone/index.htm (last visited Sept. 9, 2013). More
providers and PSAPs been affected by the increase in the volume of wireless calls to 911, and
how have they modified their practices to account for such changes? In addition, we seek the
submission of specific data that quantifies the increase in wireless calls to 911, particularly
the increase in wireless 911 calls from indoor environments.
How has the increase in wireless calls to 911, particularly from indoor environments, affected
the ability of wireless providers to deliver Phase II location information?
What factors affect whether individual 911 calls include or do not include delivery of Phase II
location information to the PSAP? For example:
o What is the impact of 911 call duration on the ability of different technologies to
provide Phase II location information to the PSAP?
o To what degree is the delivery of Phase II information to the PSAP with each call a
function of automated versus manual processes?
o What is the role of rebid procedures when Phase II information is not delivered to the
PSAP with the initial 911 call?
o Are there other network or operational issues that can affect a carrier's ability to
deliver Phase II information with each call and/or the PSAP's ability to receive the
What measures do PSAPs and wireless providers undertake, in terms of ongoing monitoring
of Phase II performance, both on an individual call basis and an aggregated basis? What
types of metrics are monitored and how are they measured?
In what percentage of wireless 911 calls is Phase II location information successfully
delivered to the PSAP? How does current Phase II yield (percentage of wireless 911 calls
that include Phase II location information) compare to Phase II yield in the past few years?
o Is there a correlation between trends in Phase II yield and an increase in the number
of wireless calls originating from indoors?3
o Is Phase II yield affected by wireless providers' migration to new network
technologies, e.g., from 2G to 3G/4G networks?
o Is Phase II yield affected by the wireless provider's choice of location technology
(e.g., network- versus handset-based location solution) or changes in the location
technology used (e.g., migration to A-GPS)?
o Are there variations in the delivery of Phase II location information based on the type
of environment (e.g., urban versus rural environments, indoor versus outdoor
According to the CALNENA filing, of the 1,589,580 wireless 911 calls received statewide in
March 2013, less than half of those calls included Phase II location information.4 Does the
data in the record support CALNENA's contention that there has been a decline in the
delivery of accurate Phase II location information in the past few years?
In 911 calls where Phase II location information is delivered to the PSAP, has the overall
quality and accuracy of the information improved, declined, or remained unchanged in
recently, a letter from the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management indicated that 70 percent of all
wireless 911 calls originate indoors. See Letter from Lisa Hoffman, Deputy Director, Division of Emergency
Communications, San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, to Julius Genachowski, Chairman, FCC,
WT Docket No. 11-49 (filed Mar. 25, 2013).
3 According to J.D. Power, "Typically, wireless calls placed indoors result in slightly more problems, on average,
than calls placed outdoors." J.D. Power 2011 Wireless Call Quality Study Vol. 1.
4 CALNENA ex parte at 2.
comparison to the past few years? To what extent, if any, has the overall quality and accuracy
of Phase II location information been affected by:
o The increase in wireless calls originating from indoors?
o Wireless providers' migration to new network technologies?
o Changes in the location technology used by carriers?
o Type of environment (e.g., urban versus rural environments, indoor versus outdoor
How is the ability of PSAPs to respond to 911 calls affected by the availability or
unavailability of Phase II location information, the time required to obtain a Phase II fix
(including rebids), and the quality of the Phase II information when it is provided?
What efforts are stakeholders making (or can they make in the future) to improve Phase II
yield and the accuracy of Phase II information?
o What solutions are available to improve the delivery of Phase II information,
including improving location accuracy both outdoors and indoors, and what are the
costs of such solutions?
What additional measures, including regulatory action, could help improve the delivery of
Phase II E911 location information in the near term? In light of the expanding role of
wireless technology in communicating with emergency services, are there regulatory gaps in
the Commission's E911 rules? Are there public safety requirements for location accuracy
that are not being met by the rules?
Is currently available location technology able to deliver more precise location information
than the Commission's current E911 rules require?
o What is the potential for current technology to provide vertical location (z-axis) as
well as horizontal location (x- and y-axis)?
o What is the potential for future location technology to improve accuracy
performance, particularly as providers deploy 4G networks and increase the use of
small cells and other advanced infrastructure?
We encourage interested parties to help inform the discussion at the workshop, as well any
subsequent Commission action on these issues, by filing comments in response to these questions and on
the data made available in the public record.
FILING PROCEDURESInterested parties may file comments on or before the dates listed on the first page of this Public
Notice. All comments and reply comments should reference
PS Docket No. 07-114. Parties may file
comments using: (1) the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal
Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.5
Electronic Filers: File comments electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:
https://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments.
If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, ECFS filers
must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number
referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full
5 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13
FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number.
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