|Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FCC ACTS TO PROMOTE COMPETITION AND
Washington, D.C. ---The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revised its
rules aimed at providing consumers with enhanced 911 emergency services when using wireless
phones. The new requirements promote public safety, competition among wireless 911
equipment manufacturers and the continued improvement in the quality of 911 services.|
Specifically, the new rules will enable handset-based methods of providing location information for 911 calls to compete in a reasonable way with network-based solutions in meeting the FCC's Enhanced 911 (E911) Phase II requirements. The FCC also modified implementation requirements for carriers and revised the accuracy/reliability rules applicable to all Automatic Location Identification (ALI) technologies. These new rules will benefit both callers and public safety entities by providing accurate and efficient automatic location information in emergencies.
Background on E911:
The FCC's wireless 911 rules seek both to improve the reliability of wireless 911 services and to provide the enhanced features generally available for wireline calls. To further these goals, the agency has required wireless carriers to implement E911 service, subject to certain conditions and schedules, including a request from a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Phase I of the FCC's E911 rules requires that a dialable number accompany each 911 call, which allows the PSAP dispatcher to call back if the call is disconnected or to obtain additional information. It also gives the dispatcher the location at the cell site that received the call as a rough indication of the caller's location. Phase II of the FCC's wireless 911 rules allows the dispatcher to know more precisely where the caller is located, a capability called Automatic Location Identification or ALI.
The current FCC E911 rules were adopted in 1996, and reflected then current expectations about technological development. At that time, it was anticipated that only network-based approaches would be employed to provide ALI. Since then advances in technologies that employ new or upgraded handsets have demonstrated significant progress. However, as a practical matter, current FCC rules only permit network-based solutions to meet the Phase II requirements in the short term because they require that ALI be provided for all 911 calls in a PSAP's area as of a fixed date (October 1, 2001). As a result, the current rule effectively precludes use of a handset-based approach, which requires the gradual replacement or upgrade of current handsets. Today the FCC revised its rules to permit the phase-in of new or upgraded handsets in order for handset-based solutions to be a viable competitor for initial ALI deployment under Phase II, while making other revisions aimed at promoting wireless E911 and improving public safety.
Specifics of Today's Action:
The FCC adopted the following revisions to its wireless E911 rules:
News Media Contact: Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654; TTY at (202) 418-7233; or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wireless Bureau contacts: Dan Grosh at (202) 418-1310, e-mail email@example.com Mindy Littell (202) 418-1310, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or TTY at (202) 418-7233.
WT Report No. 99-27
CC Docket No. 94-102