FCC clarifies e911 accuracy requirements

Now that carriers in violation of Phase I e911 requirements have been fined, the FCC ruled that wireless carriers must meet e911 Phase II location accuracy requirements at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) service area level. The next phase will require carriers to meet interim and annual benchmarks through September 11, 2012. The three key requirements to Phase II include:

  • Fulfilling the FCC's location accuracy requirements within each economic area a carrier operates by September 11, 2008.
  • Satisfying the FCC's location accuracy requirements within metropolitan and rural service areas, and achieving PSAP compliance in 75 percent of these areas by September 11, 2010.
  • Finally, achieving full compliance by September 11, 2012.

So far, the CTIA is the only representative from the carrier side of the debate to issue a response to the next phase in e911 requirements: "In addition to today's item being procedurally flawed," CTIA CEO Steve Largent said, "I am concerned that the Commission's action may lead to unrealistic--and potentially harmful--consumer expectations. I had hoped the Commission would move forward in a collaborative effort involving experts from industry, public safety, and government. I am sorry to see that is not the case."

So is this next phase of e911 unrealistic? Or does it not go far enough? Let us know your thoughts.

For more on the new requirements:
- read this press release from the FCC
- read FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's statement
- read the press release from the CTIA in full