Federal Communications Commission
FCC 07-156 STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN KEVIN J. MARTIN
Re: In the Matter of Alltel Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, EB-07-SE- 008
Re: In the Matter of Sprint Nextel Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, EB-07-SE-006
Re: In the Matter of US Cellular Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, EB-07-SE-009
Ensuring that E911 service meets the needs of public safety and the expectations of the American people is a top priority of mine and of the Commission. I recognize that the public expects us to get these issues right. One of my first actions when I became Chairman was to ensure that all Americans could pick up the phone and dial 911 and connect to emergency services whether they were using a wireline, wireless or Internet phone. On the wireless side, Americans increasingly expect that dialing 911 also means first responders can pinpoint a callerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s location, even when the caller is incapacitated or does not know where he or she is. To this end, the FCC required all carriers to ensure that 95% of their subscribers have handsets that are location capable by December 31, 2005.
Alltel, Sprint Nextel, and U.S. Cellular failed to meet this critical deadline by a significant margin, despite the clear requirements of the Commission and the needs of their consumers. While we recognize the efforts undertaken by the carriers, and encourage the continued efforts of all carriers to enhance these life-saving technologies and work with the public safety community, the fines issued today are significant and appropriate. Our actions today underscore the critical importance that 911 services play in the lives of the public. I continue to believe that one of the CommissionÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s highest obligations is facilitating the ability of the public safety community to help those in need. Effective enforcement of our E911 rules is a valuable and necessary tool in achieving this mission.