According to the FCC, no major US carrier has yet to meet the December 31, 2005 deadline for having 95 percent of its subscribers on E911-compliant handsets. The E911 technology allows first responders to use GPS to locate a mobile user who is making an emergency call. About 7 million subscribers have yet to trade up their phones for a more expensive digital one that enables E911 capabilities. Aside from a reluctance to fork over more money, some consumers are unwilling to learn how to use a more difficult handset. Others live in rural areas where the digital networks are still unreliable. Verizon Wireless, Qwest, Alltel and Sprint Nextel have asked the FCC for more time and the issue is currently on hold while the FCC mulls over a course of action.
For more on the troubles with E911 conversion:
- check out this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)