FCC to Require Greater Location Accuracy for Wireless Alerts
The FCC today adopted new rules that it says will ensure wireless emergency alerts are used more effectively to notify the public about threats. To start, the FCC will require network operators that distribute such alerts to do so in a much more geographically accurate and relevant area. Specifically, the FCC will mandate that providers "deliver alerts to the target area specified by the alert originator with no more than a one-tenth of a mile overshoot." This improved geo-targeting requirement will go into effect on November 30, 2019. Further, the FCC wants emergency messages to be more widely available to the general public. Messages must remain accessible to consumers on their devices for at least 24 hours after the initial receipt, or until consumers choose to delete the messages. This is so consumers can later reference message details after they initially view them. Last, the FCC will require carriers to support Spanish-language messages up to 360 characters in length by May 1, 2019. The changes arrive after a false alarm earlier this month in Hawaii suggested to residents that a nuclear strike was imminent. The FCC is reviewing the processes in place that govern how such messages are selected and sent to the public.
Jun 18, 2018
Apple today said iPhones will soon provide 911 emergency services with more exact locations of callers. Since 2015, Apple has relied on HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which uses cellular, GPS, and wifi access points to estimate 911 callers' locations.
Sep 19, 2018
Google and T-Mobile are working together to ensure that T-Mobile customers' location is more accurately pinpointed when calling 911 emergency services. About 80% of the annual 240 million 911 calls in the U.S.
Mar 29, 2018
Apple today made iOS 11.3 available to the general public after testing it privately the last few months. First, iOS 11.3 provides iPhone users with more control over their phone's battery performance.
Dec 15, 2017
The FCC has added a new type of alert to the Emergency Alert System that is specifically meant for law enforcement officers and other first responders. Joining the Amber Alert and Silver Alert, the new Blue Alert can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public of threats to law enforcement and request help in apprehending suspects.