Dear Editor: Each year, roughly 240 million 911 calls are made in the United States, with nearly 70 percent of those calls coming from wireless phones, according to the Federal Communications Commission. Many Americans may not realize it, but when they dial 911 from a cellphone or other wireless device, there is often a significant delay in the response time for emergency responders to reach the location where the call was made. That’s because when these calls are placed, particularly indoors, GPS signals are compromised, often sending unreliable and inaccurate location information to 911 dispatchers.
To resolve this issue, the FCC has proposed a rule that will update location accuracy standards for 911 calls placed from wireless phones. The agency has estimated that this rule could potentially save more than 10,000 American lives each year, and the rule has strong support from the public safety community.
Unfortunately, wireless phone providers are working to delay this lifesaving measure for as long as possible despite the two-year timetable they’ve already been given to implement this rule.
Given the potential to save 10,000 lives each year, it is difficult to understand the reasoning behind not wanting to move forward with implementing the FCC rule. Further delay will only add to the number of preventable deaths each year.
It’s important that we urge the FCC to implement this rule for 911 calls placed from wireless phones.