FCC Wants Better Indoor Location for Wireless 911 Calls
The Federal Communications Commission today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that it hopes will eventually make it easier for first responders to find people who make wireless 911 calls from within buildings. The FCC updated its E911 rules as recently as 2010, but says another change is necessary because more consumers are ditching landlines in favor of mobile phones. In the short term, the FCC wants wireless network operators to be able to locate both the building and the vertical information necessary to determine the floor from which a wireless 911 call is made. In the long term, the FCC wants operators to offer more granular location data so that the wireless 911 caller may be pinpointed down to the room, office, or apartment. The FCC also wants operators to provide location details to first responders faster. The FCC understands this effort may require new technologies and improved in-building coverage. It is seeking comments on the matter, but did not offer any sort of timeframe or end date for deployment. "The Commission emphasized that its ultimate objective is that all Americans – whether they are calling from urban or rural areas, from indoors or outdoors – receive the support they need in times of emergency."
Lenovo Says Bug Preventing Moto G Plus from Making 911 Calls On Verizon
Lenovo issued a notice this week warning that the Moto G5 Plus may not be able to connect 911 calls via VoLTE on Verizon's wireless network. The company has identified the bug and expects to issue a software patch in the next week or so.
T-Mobile Fined $17.5 Million Over 911 Outage
T-Mobile has settled with the FCC regarding two separate 911 outages on its national wireless network that prevented customers from reaching emergency services for a period of three hours. T-Mobile agreed to pay the FCC $17.5 million in fines and take steps to improve the strength of its network and 911 services.
FCC Looking to Enable Nationwide Number Portability
The FCC wants to make it easier for consumers and businesses to port their number from one carrier to another. People can already bring their number with them when they change carriers, but there are location-based limitations that sometimes prevent porting from one area of the country to another.
FCC to Investigate AT&T 911 Outage
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the agency will investigate a recent issue on AT&T's mobile network that prevented some 911 calls from going through. The issue occurred Wednesday evening over a period of several hours.
FCC Proposes Updates to Emergency Alerts
The FCC wants to see wireless emergency alerts used more effectively and proposed several changes to improve them. Wireless emergency alerts have been used since 2012 to warn people about severe weather or other safety threats, alert them to missing children, and deliver other information via text messages.
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