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Today, Public Knowledge launched a petition to support the FCC’s proposal to strengthen its location accuracy requirements for wireless calls to 911. It is estimated that the FCC could save more than 10,000 lives annually by adopting these rules.
The following can be attributed to Brynne Henn of Public Knowledge:
“Right now, the lack of strong rules for wireless carriers makes it extremely difficult for first responders to accurately locate people calling indoors from a mobile phone. Although first responders may be able to find your block or even your apartment with less specific cell tower information, they won’t often know what floor or apartment number to look for. This process wastes precious time in life-threatening situations where every second counts.
“Fortunately, the FCC is considering stronger rules on wireless carriers that ensure 911 calls are more accurately traced. Once adopted, these rules could save lives and mitigate the effects of life-altering injuries such as strokes, heart attacks and falls.
“Of the estimated 240 million calls placed yearly to 911, almost 70 percent originate from mobile devices. Of that, almost 50 percent are made from inside a building. Alarmingly, most of the people who depend on wireless devices may not know that calling indoors from a mobile device places them at a potential disadvantage during tense and dangerous moments.
“Public Knowledge believes in embracing new technologies, but not at the expense of the public. New communications technologies should be a step forward for everyone and should never leave anyone behind. Public Knowledge supports the FCC’s proposed rules as an important step toward ensuring first responders can consistently reach those in distress on time.”