WASHINGTON July 13, 2011 - The Federal Communications Commission approved a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that would aim to improve the ability of first responders to locate mobile and Voice over IP (VoIP) callers who contact 911 during its July meeting on Tuesday.
The Commission passed by a unanimous vote a Notice of Proposed Rule Making on improving the accuracy of location information for wireless and Voice over IP (VoIP) services. The NPRM seeks to establish a standard for VoIP location information.
“Location accuracy has become increasingly better as handsets integrate GPS but our job is far from being done,” said Commissioner Michael Copps. “As more consumers cut the cord, cell phones are increasingly becoming the primary phones for many consumers. We need to see the improvement of in building location accuracy. “
Currently wireless phones provide E911 location information by using a GPS chip within a handset or by triangulating the caller’s wireless signal in relation to nearby cell sites in the carrier’s network.
Traditional phone services are linked to a specific location while VoIP services are routed through any type of internet connection this makes determining the location of VoIP calls difficult.
When consumers call 911 they are connected to their local Public Safety Answering Point, this location information is often not transmitted properly when using VoIP services. To improve public safety the Commission has mandated that all residential VoIP subscribers must provide an address.
The NPRM asks providers if there is any method which can be deployed to automatically provide location information for VoIP calls rather than having to rely on subscribers to provide the data.
The Commission is also seeking input on how broadband location technologies can be leveraged for use to support E911.
“The item explains that, as the use of location based services on smart phones becomes more prevalent, Americans are beginning to expect that their service providers know their current location whenever they are using that device,” said Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. “It is therefore reasonable for them to also expect that, when they make a 9-1-1 call, their current location information should be provided to public safety agencies, whether they make the call using a traditional commercial wireless services or whether they are using VoIP services.”
In a unanimous vote, the Commission passed a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on the impact of the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA) that was passed in January. The LCRA repealed restrictions on the amount of spectrum that can be allocated for use by low power FM stations imposed by Congress in 2000.
“LPFM will provide the increased spectral efficiency and allow for new entrants in the media space which will be able to provide crucial local information,” said Chairman Julius Genachowski. “Radio continues to be a very valuable service in communications and media. Broadcast over the air radio listening has actually been increasing.”
In an effort to protect consumers, the Commission also unanimously passed a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to prevent the addition of “mystery fees” or “cramming” onto telephone bills. The commission found that an estimated 15 to 20 million American households have “mystery fees” added to their monthly phone bills.
The Commission recently approved a settlement with Verizon Wireless where the company charged consumers over $50 million in “mystery fees”. Verizon was forced to refund its customers and pay a $25 million fine to the US Treasury.
The issue is also currently being investigated by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
- Slogans About Data Portability on Tech Platforms Don’t Capture Intellectual Property and Interoperability Issues
- Application Deadline of July 15 Announced for $16 Billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction
- National Digital Currency Could Expedite Stimulus Checks, Unlock Other Possibilities
- Collaborative Smart City Pilots Show Promise in Improving Internet Access
- Apartment Industry Sees Stable Payments, Labor Shortages and Preventative Innovations
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China4 weeks ago
China Expert Predicts that Nation’s Flawed Coronavirus Response Will Damage the Power of Chinese Communist Party
Digital Inclusion1 month ago
FCC’s Jessica Rosenworcel Calls for Wi-Fi School Buses, and Brookings Panelists Agree Now is the Time
Broadband Data1 month ago
CenturyLink CTO Boasts Success in Handling Coronavirus-Induced ‘Hot’ Networks, Credits Company’s Fiber Push
Big Tech2 weeks ago
The Rise, Reign, and Self-Repair of Zoom
Net Neutrality1 month ago
Public Interest Groups Blast FCC For Refusal to Extend Public Safety Deadline on Net Neutrality Comments
#broadbandlive4 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 – Will the Coronavirus Lead to a Loss of Privacy? Weighing Contact Tracing and Broadband Surveillance
Broadband's Impact1 month ago
Artificial Intelligence Not Very Helpful in Addressing the Coronavirus, Say Experts on Brookings Panel
Rural3 weeks ago
Why the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund is So Significant, and How to Succeed in Applying For RDOF