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October 05, 2011

911 Services: Location Accuracy Should Not Be Based on the Nature of Voice Technology, Says ATIS

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor

ATIS (News - Alert), a technical planning and standards development organization, announced that it has responded to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding emergency location information requirements for wireline and wireless communications services.

ATIS wants the location accuracy to be based on how a device is attached to the access network and not the nature of the voice technology that can be either packet or circuit-switched. It requested the FCC (News - Alert) to encourage the industry to develop new solutions for various wireless and wireline providers.

Surveys have indicated that millions of Americans are living in regions that are yet to come under any kind of mobile services network and many more are working in or traveling through those regions. In order to accelerate our nation’s ongoing effort to close this mobility gap in a fiscally responsible manner, FCC issued the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that sought comment on using reserves accumulated in the Universal Service Fund (USF) to create a new Mobility Fund. The fund can then be used to enhance network coverage in areas that lack them.

ATIS submitted its comments to FCC regarding the nature of emergency location information requirements.

Officials with the company remarked that the communications industry understands the need and benefits of providing accurate location information in emergency situations and is working diligently to develop practical solutions. ATIS is working together with service providers, equipment makers, public safety officials and others to ensure that accurate location information is delivered to emergency providers.

In its response to the FCC, ATIS notes that the communications industry considers the provision of location information in emergency situations its highest priority and is actively working on developing solutions for both existing and future technologies. It wants more work to be done on indoor location accuracy testing and recommended that Wi-Fi positioning should be evaluated further to determine whether it could be useful in providing location information.

Nathesh is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Nathesh's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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