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FCC details next gen 911 service proposals

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 10 Aug 2011 19:01 User comments (5)

FCC details next gen 911 service proposals Federal Communications Commission examines NG911 - Next Generation 911.
With the widespread use of smartphones, wouldn't it be much better if you could use their features in the event of an emergency? The FCC is pushing an upgrade to the 911 emergency system in the U.S. that would let users send video feeds, photos and other communications that would be sent to first responders.

"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said at the 2011 APCO Conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Next month, the regulator is expected to address the technical issues behind enabling text, photo and video transmissions to 911 services. One area of concerns is whether the broadband infrastructure can handle the necessary bandwidth for the service to work as proposed.

An official said that NG911 services could be available within 5-10 years, if the program is properly funded.

FCC Five-Step Action Plan to Deploy Next Generation 9-1-1
  • Develop location accuracy mechanisms for NG-911: The FCC's Location Accuracy proceeding (July 2011 agenda item) has launched development of a framework for providing automatic location information in the NG911 environment.
  • Enable consumers to send text, photos, and videos to PSAPs (NPRM): Next month, the FCC will consider an NPRM to accelerate NG911 adoption. The NPRM will help answer practical, technical questions about how to enable text, photo, and video transmission to 911, including how to ensure adequate broadband infrastructure to deliver the bandwidth PSAPs will need to provide NG911. As part of the NPRM, the FCC will examine interim solutions for ensuring that carriers/service providers support transmission of text-to-911.
  • Facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards: For NG911 to be effective, we need technical standards for the hardware and software that carriers and public safety answering points (PSAPs) use to communicate NG911 information. The FCC will work with NG911 stakeholders to resolve NG911 standards issues and facilitate consistent and coordinated implementation of a standards-based architecture.
  • Develop a NG911 governance framework: Because no single governing entity has jurisdiction over NG911, the FCC will work with state 911 authorities, other Federal agencies, and other governing entities to provide technical expertise and develop a coordinated approach to NG911 governance.
  • Develop an NG911 Funding Model: To assist 911 authorities and Congress in considering NG911 funding options, the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will prepare a cost model focused on the cost-effectiveness of the NG911 network infrastructure linking PSAPs and carriers.

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5 user comments

110.8.2011 19:06

this actually seams like a good thing to be able to give a visual report using the public as a mobile reporting device. but what would make it sell would be silent distress calls with a perfect location for police to recover the point of interest. that would be worth funding if the network could pin point your mobile.

210.8.2011 19:44

An issue I had a couple years ago was that 911 isn't (or wasn't at the time) nationally networked. My girlfriend was on vacation in Florida and someone was following her in a black pickup truck, suddenly her phone cut out and I couldn't get in touch with her. After 20 minutes of panicking to a Sprint operator inquiring about gps tracking in an emergency being refused assistance, I called 911 and asked if there was anything they could do. They told me I'd have to find a number for the police in Florida and that I shouldn't have called them. Ok so seriously I thought someone I cared about may have been abducted or worse and I'm not supposed to call 911? And hour later she got ahold of me and it turned out that she ran from whoever it was and her phone battery had fallen out when she dropped it. Not wanting to fiddle with it while fleeing she just shoved everything in her pocket and kept going until she was able to get back to where she was staying. Luckily she wasn't raped or murdered since no one could be bothered to even so much as redirect my call to the appropriate authorities right?

310.8.2011 20:27

Well that just suxs and could be worked by case by case of stupid and human error, but if 911 are not smart enough to take details and at least give the local PD a ring with a license plate and description of car and person driving it. They could of filed a report and put a alert out via radio.

But on the other hands it seams that they want to make a improvement to the service and it is only as good as the people operating it. Now i don't have 911 i use 000 in Australia and the times that i have called i find that they are more worried about getting a absurd amount of information from you unless your in direct danger and don't have the time.

I just hope the new system can make it work better and others adapt, it is a serious service in any country which needs to keep updated.

411.8.2011 22:37

Originally posted by Zealousi:
this actually seams like a good thing to be able to give a visual report using the public as a mobile reporting device. but what would make it sell would be silent distress calls with a perfect location for police to recover the point of interest. that would be worth funding if the network could pin point your mobile.
any decent military can already accomplish this, as a matter of fact its quite easy. why the local police still rely on the general localization of the transmitter is beyond me but i bet it's got something to do with privacy laws.

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512.8.2011 9:37

I'm sure it has to do with privacy laws because they can certainly do it. What bothers me above and beyond privacy issues is that 911 has become a joke. It should only be used for emergancies but no they use it for all sorts of stuff instead of using 411 for non-emergancies. And then as we see with the concern of your girl friend that they pick and choose what they deal with, lets face it 911 is a mess. Pretty typical of course when it comes to our government and how poorly they handle things.

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