Bulk of Wireless 911 Calls Not Offering Accurate Location
Data culled from the FCC shows that the vast majority - 90% - of 911 emergency calls placed from wireless phones are not providing accurate location data. A company called Find Me 911 filed a Freedom Of Information Act request with the FCC in order to obtain the data. Its analysis suggests only 39,805 of 385,341 emergency 911 calls placed during a six-month period in Washington, D.C. contained the vital Phase II information, which includes the caller's latitude and longitude. The remaining calls contained only Phase I information, which gives emergency responders the location of the nearest cell tower. The cell tower location alone is not considered good enough to find callers who may be in need of assistance. Earlier this year, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to make it easier for first responders to find people who make wireless 911 calls. In the short term, the FCC wants wireless network operators to be able to provide the longitude, latitude, and vertical information necessary to determine the exact address and floor from which a wireless 911 call is made indoors. In the long term, the FCC wants operators to offer more granular location data so 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 is still fielding comments on it proposal. It believes improving wireless 911 location accuracy could eventually save as many as 10,000 lives per year.
40% of households are wireless only!