FCC backs wireless call location requirements for 9-1-1 calls

Next Gen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) applauded the FCC on Thursday for supporting proposed standards that would require wireless providers to provide accurate caller location information to public safety officials on indoor and outdoor wireless emergency calls.

“We’ve made great progress on improving location reporting for outdoor wireless calls to 9-1-1,” Shimkus said. “Setting standards for indoor location accuracy is the next logical step as more and more Americans rely on their mobile phones in emergencies. I’m pleased to see the FCC agrees.”

Seventy Percent of emergency calls are placed from wireless phones, Next Gen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said.

“Yet, when these calls are made from indoors, first responders still have difficulty obtaining accurate location information,” Eshoo said. “If their smartphone app can pinpoint their location almost instantaneously, consumers rightfully expect our first responders should be able to do the same in an emergency. I welcome the newly approved FCC benchmark for 9-1-1 call location accuracy as it takes public safety a step further toward that goal.”

Shimkus and Eshoo sent a letter to the FCC in January requesting that the commission do more to ensure first responders have necessary information to locate 9-1-1 calls made from indoor locations, which would help improve response times.