FCC Probing Wireless Carriers With 911 Location Rules

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The FCC Enforcement Bureau on Friday said it’s looking into whether nationwide wireless carriers are complying with FCC rules that require them to deploy dispatchable location information or meet certain vertical location accuracy requirements. Wireless carriers were supposed to begin meeting the requirements by April 3. Vertical location information helps first responders find 911 wireless callers in multi-story buildings. 

Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the agency adopted rules in 2015, to improve location information for wireless 911 callers. “But there has been too little progress since then, and I have consistently called on this agency to do more to ensure that our rules are delivering actionable information.” She said it’s time for the Commission, public safety, and wireless carriers to work together. 

The agency’s rules require nationwide wireless providers to certify they met the deadline by June 2. The Enforcement Bureau said several wireless carriers (including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) sought an 18-month deadline extension, based on challenges with testing vertical location solutions due to the pandemic. As part of its inquiry, the bureau will review carriers’ past efforts to come into compliance with the FCC’s deadlines as well as the current capabilities of their vertical location solutions. 

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