Dear Visitor,

Our system has found that you are using an ad-blocking browser add-on.

We just wanted to let you know that our site content is, of course, available to you absolutely free of charge.

Our ads are the only way we have to be able to bring you the latest high-quality content, which is written by professional journalists, with the help of editors, graphic designers, and our site production and I.T. staff, as well as many other talented people who work around the clock for this site.

So, we ask you to add this site to your Ad Blocker’s "white list" or to simply disable your Ad Blocker while visiting this site.

Continue on this site freely
  HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT NEWS. UPDATED 9 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Wireless Connectivity / FCC Eyes Multimedia Update for 911
FCC Eyes Allowing Texts, Videos To Be Sent To 911
FCC Eyes Allowing Texts, Videos To Be Sent To 911
By Barry Levine / CRM Daily Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
NOVEMBER
23
2010
Could lives have been saved during the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shootings if trapped students and teachers could have texted or sent video to 911? The Federal Communications Commission thinks so, and the agency said Tuesday that it's looking at changes to update the emergency phone number.

The 911 standard, set in 1968, currently receives about 70 percent of its 230 million calls annually from mobile devices, but the system is not set up to handle text messages, photos or streaming video.

'Desperately Tried To Send Texts'

"The technological limitations of 911 can have tragic, real-world consequences," the FCC said in a statement. It noted that students and other witnesses during the 2007 shooting "desperately tried to send texts to 911 that local dispatchers never received." If those messages had been received, the agency said, "first responders may have arrived on the scene faster with firsthand intelligence about the life-threatening situation that was unfolding."

Texting allows victims and witnesses who cannot easily speak, such as in a kidnapping, hostage-taking, or robbery, to convey their emergency to authorities. Photos and video would similarly be able to silently communicate, and convey information that might otherwise be difficult, such as the number of assailants, their positions, and so on.

Additionally, callers who are deaf or have hearing problems could be better served with a text-based option.

Plans also include the ability for sensors, such as chemical detection sensors, alarm systems, medical devices and OnStar systems in cars, to automatically send signals to 911 in case of emergencies.

Media-Receptive 911 'Inevitable'

As technological habits and capabilities change, the 911 system has adapted. In 2001, the FCC required mobile carriers to identify callers' locations through GPS or the nearest cell towers. Several years ago, Voice over Internet Protocol services were compelled to route emergency calls to the nearest 911 emergency center -- even though "location" in the cloud can be a challenge.

Some call centers, such as one in Waterloo, Iowa, are currently testing prototype systems. PowerPhone, a Madison, Conn.-based provider of emergency call-handling systems, announced in August that it was granted a patent for its Incident Linked Multimedia software that enables the transmission of text, photos and video through wireless carriers to 911 centers.

Laura DiDio, an analyst with Information Technology Intelligence Corp., said using text messages, photos and videos to communicate with 911 is "inevitable." She pointed out that any public emergency is accompanied by people recording it with their smartphones, and that is information emergency personnel could use.

In fact, DiDio said, the intense competition among smartphones makes it "very likely" some makers are going to emphasize the ease of use and features their smartphone offers in the event of emergencies.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
MORE IN WIRELESS CONNECTIVITY
CRM DAILY
NEWSFACTOR NETWORK SITES
NEWSFACTOR SERVICES
© Copyright 2017 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.