911 Will Soon Accept Texts, Photos, Video

| August 11, 2011 | Reply

On Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a five-step plan to deploy the next generation of 911 (NG911) emergency response systems.

The plan will allow emergency responders to receive much more than just 911 phone calls. Once new systems are in place, it will enable responders to receive text messages, voice calls, videos and photos – all with location information. The FCC hopes that NG911 will help decrease response time while also giving individuals more options for contacting 911.

“It’s hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can’t send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency,” Genachowski said.

“The unfortunate truth is that the capability of our emergency response communications has not kept pace with commercial innovation — has not kept pace with what ordinary people now do every day with communications devices. The shift to NG911 can’t be about if, but about when and how.”

Implementation of NG911, the official project name, will be charted by the following five-step plan, according to the FCC’s press release:

1. Develop location accuracy mechanisms for NG911

2. Enable consumers to send text, photos, and videos to public safety answering points (NPRM)

3. Facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards

4. Develop an NG911 governance framework

5. Develop an NG911 funding model

With the ever-increasing trend of people doing more texting than talking, the plan certainly makes sense. Technology is constantly changing the way that we communicate, and the 911 911 response system needs to evolve with the trends. Increased access for those with disabilities, enhanced information for first responders and increased network reliability are a just a few, of many, key reasons why NG911 is needed.

Source: TheHill

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Category: Tech News

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