FCC to Mandate More Accurate E911 Positioning
Jul 13, 2011, 12:13 PM by Eric M. Zeman
The Federal Communications Commission recently voted on a measure that will require wireless network operators to provide more accurate location information of those making E911 calls from their mobile phones. There are two methods currently used by operators. The first uses handset GPS data to locate the caller (accurate between 50 and 150 meters), and the other uses network-based cell tower triangulation (accurate between 100 and 300 meters). The FCC mandated last year that the network operators fine-tune how they handle this type of location data, and they have been given an eight-year period to reach specific accuracy goals. During this time, they will have to regularly report their findings to state-run 911 offices, the FCC and other government bodies. When this eight-year period is over, the FCC will require that all network operators use the handset/GPS method for locating E911 callers because it is more accurate, and will determine an even stricter set of guidelines for the accuracy of that data. The FCC also indicated that it is going to explore whether or not a stricter set of rules should be applied to location accuracy for certain VoIP callers, as well as for calls made from indoors.
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