The U.S. government is retaining its existing “enhanced 911” (E911) standards that require the location of a 911 caller to be made available even by cell-phone callers.
On Sept. 28, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) posted a Federal Register notice of a “final rule” that says, it is preserving its “existing handset-based and network-based location accuracy standards” for wireless carriers.
The rule—Interconnected VoIP Service; Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers—becomes effective Nov. 28, 2011, the FCC says.
The commission says by retaining the existing E911 requirements for wireless handset-based and network-based location accuracy, it is strengthening E911. In addition to the caller location requirement, the FCC is also retaining theeight-year implementation period for wireless carriers established in September 2010.
The rule also requires all “commercial mobile radio service” (CMRS) providers that are “launching new stand-alone networks, to comply with the handset-based location criteria, regardless of the location technology they actually use.”
The FCC says it will require wireless carriers to periodically test their outdoor E911 location accuracy results and to share the results with “public safety answering points” (PSAPs, which are the call centers responsible for answers emergency phone calls); state 911 offices; and the Commission.