UPDATED: FCC mandates stricter phone location requirements for E911
The FCC is requiring that on a date still to be determined, though not before 2019, carriers will need to meet the more stringent location accuracy standards that now apply to those carriers using a handset-based solution for E911. Carriers will be able to choose which solution to use: handset-based, via a GPS-type chip inside devices; network-based, via network software and equipment; or a hybrid approach. Based on current adoption rates, the FCC estimates that even without the new rules, 85 percent of mobile phone users will carry GPS-capable devices by the 2018 cutoff date, effectively minimizing compliance concerns. In addition, the FCC did not establish a sunset deadline for phasing out handsets without GPS integration--at present, officials must rely on triangulation between cell towers to determine the location of 911 calls from phones without GPS. Article
Correction, Oct. 11, 2011: This article originally incorrectly stated that the FCC is requiring all phones to have GPS by 2018.