Major Carriers Agree to Nationwide 911 Texting Service
The top four wireless network operators have all agreed to let customers send text messages to 911 emergency centers via their networks. The Federal Communication Commission has been pushing for what it calls a next-generation 911 service and AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless are all officially on board. They will begin deploying the service in 2013, though the nationwide system is not expected to be complete until mid-2014. The carriers will send automatic bounce-back messages to people who send 911 texts in areas where the service is not yet available. "Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century—and today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Voice calls to 911 are still the most effective way to communicate, but the FCC believes the text messaging service will help those who are unable to make calls during an emergency.
Excuse me Mr. Burgler while I text for help
BTW: I was in earshot when someone used their phone to call 911 and when they did the phone played a loud tune. This is just an old Verizon flip phone that's probably 4-5 years old, but do phones typically do that when calling 911? Are equipment developers really dumb enough to program phones to alert criminals to the locations of their victims? Seriously, why not just go all the way and make the phone play "They're hiding over here!" in a repeating loop?