FCC Releases Notice of Inquiry on Routing Wireless 9-1-1 Calls
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 | Comments

The FCC released a notice of inquiry (NOI) on location-based routing for wireless 9-1-1 calls under PS Docket No. 18-64.

Legacy approaches to wireless 9-1-1 call routing have relied on the location of the cell tower that handles the call, which may vary from a few hundred feet to several miles from the caller’s location. This may result in the call being answered by a public-safety answering point (PSAP) in a different jurisdiction, which must transfer the call to the PSAP that serves the caller’s location.

Recent advances in location technology, however, suggest that in many situations it is now feasible to route wireless 9-1-1 calls directly to the correct PSAP based on information about the caller’s location. The NOI aims to perform the following:
• Examine how the delays that arise from cell tower-based routing of wireless 9-1-1 calls can be avoided, possibly resulting in faster response times, via the implementation of location-based routing solutions
• Ask detailed questions about the state of location-based routing technologies, their maturity and their utility in supporting more accurate routing of wireless 9-1-1 calls
• Seek comment on the recommendations regarding location-based routing made by the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) in September 2016
• Ask for information about the costs and benefits of location-based routing technologies, existing and evolving standards for routing methodologies, and the capabilities of next-generation 9-1-1 to support or drive location-based routing technologies
• Seek comment on how the commission can facilitate and promote location-based routing improvements

The comment date is 45 days after publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 90 days after Federal Register publication. The full NOI is here.

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