E911 Hosted Solutions Featured Article
New E911 Regulations for Wireless Carriers Now in Effect
By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Web Editor
For decades, Americans were confident that when they picked up their house phones to dial 911 their call would be routed to the proper public safety answering point (PSAP), and that emergency responders would know exactly where to head in order to respond to the crisis at hand. But modern communications technology has a way of mucking up 911 calls. Companies that utilize VoIP technology, for example, need to utilize E911 hosted solutions in order to ensure that emergency responders arrive at the right location. And mobile calling makes matters even more complicated. But, as of January 18, 2013, there are a few new regulations that carriers must keep in mind in regard to E911 services.
- New handsets must meet location accuracy standards for 911 calls. They must be accurate within 50 meters for 67 percent of all calls and accurate to 150 meters for 80 percent of calls. There are possible exceptions for heavily forested areas, however.
- New carriers must be tested and measured for accuracy. New carriers must meet location accuracy requirements as tested by either county governments or PSAPs. They must meet certain benchmarks for outdoor location accuracy on a network and handset basis.
- Carriers must provide confidence and uncertainty data. They need to provide this information on a per-call basis to PSAPs as requested. This information will help set a baseline that can serve as a basis for tracking improvement.
- Finally, all E911 system service providers must implement modifications to improve confidence and decrease uncertainty. They must provide data on all entities involved in the process and must transmit said data to any PSAP that requests it.
With these new regulations in place, citizens can be more confident than ever that emergency responders will find them if they make a 911 call from a mobile phone.
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Edited by Jamie Epstein