Connecticut Legislator Introduces Bill to Fix Wireless 911 Misdirected Calls

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“Domino’s knows exactly where you are but not a 911 dispatcher.”
An estimated 70 percent of 911 phone calls are made from wireless devices, according to the FCC, Inside Towers reported. And while the ability to communicate during an emergency situation is extremely valuable and potentially lifesaving, wireless 911 calls present a location difficulty for emergency dispatchers.

A Connecticut lawmaker introduced a bill in the state aimed to curb the number of misdirected wireless 911 calls by requiring that all 911 calls be routed to the “nearest public safety answering point,” reports The News Tribune.

“It’s something that needs to be addressed,” Republican lawmaker J.P. Sredzinski told The News Tribune. “We live in a society where, with a phone app, Domino’s knows exactly where you are but not a 911 dispatcher.”

Unlike fixed landline devices, emergency dispatchers cannot pinpoint the exact location of emergency cell phone calls. With wireless devices, the 911 phone call may be routed through a tower that may be located in a different community, prompting the dispatcher to reroute the call and waste vital seconds or minutes.

The FCC has been working to address this issue since 1996. The National Conference of State Legislatures has also addressed the issue, developing a two-phased plan that will ultimately result in dispatchers being able to pinpoint the caller’s longitude and latitude.

January 18, 2017

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