Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Next Generation 911

The FCC is getting closer to updating the nation’s 911 services with the ability to receive text messages, photos and video from mobile phones. The agency has just filed a Notice of Inquiry asking the public to comment on what's called Next Generation 911. NG911 could potentially also provide location responders with location information.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski offered the example of the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting as an example of the problem. Students tried to send text messages to 911, not realizing that the technology was not supported. He says, "If you find yourself in an emergency situation and want to send a text for help, you can pretty much text anyone except a 9-1-1 call center."

Last year, an Iowa call center became the first to install equipment that could do so.

You can find more information here. Look for FCC Takes First Step to Help Revolutionize America's 9-1-1 Services for Consumers, First Responders.