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.
- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Goes to Washington
- FCC’s Technology Advisory Committee Reprises Preemption of Localities, But This Time Over Small Cell Aesthetics
- Many Facets of Wireless Industry Join to Celebrate Launch of OnGo Using Mid-Band Spectrum
- Benton Foundation Renamed Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, Renewed Focus on Advanced Internet Networks
- Who’s On First? Congress Upset With Wasteful and Petty Antitrust Squabbles Between Justice and FTC
Intellectual Property2 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data4 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Broadband Data3 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Privacy and Security2 weeks ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Broadband Roundup1 month ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set
Expert Opinion2 months ago
Geoff Mulligan: A ‘Dumb’ Way to Build Smart Cities
Drones2 months ago
Greater Commercial Use of Drones Will Force Revisions of Federal Aviation Administration Regulations, Say Experts
Fiber2 months ago
‘Dig Once’ Provides Future-Proofing Solution for Federal Highway Infrastructure, Says BroadbandNow