NPSTC Requests 9-1-1 Dispatchable Location Definition Emphasis from FCC
Monday, May 21, 2018 | Comments

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) told the FCC it is concerned about how the wireless industry is interpreting “dispatchable location” for 9-1-1 location accuracy purposes, within the framework of the FCC’s fourth report and order.

The FCC said dispatchable location means “the verified or corroborated street address of the calling party plus additional information such as floor, suite, apartment or similar information that may be needed to adequately identify the location of the calling party.”

Under the FCC’s rules, wireless carriers must provide a dispatchable location or a horizontal fix in the X,Y plane within 50 meters for increasing percentages of all wireless 9-1-1. A carrier seeking to comply with these benchmarks by providing a dispatchable location may only do so if the location it provides to public-safety answering point (PSAPs) meets the FCC’s definition of dispatchable location.

For example, if a Wi-Fi access point is located across the street in a different building, carriers may not describe the physical address of this access point as being the “dispatchable location” of the calling party. “Any related definitions resulting from the industry’s standards development activities such as through ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solutions) cannot be used to depart from the FCC’s definition of dispatchable location for regulatory compliance purposes,” NPSTC Chairman Ralph Haller said in a letter.

Consistent with the order, a location fix described by a carrier as a “dispatchable location” must be "which door to open” when assistance is required and nothing less, the letter said.

“As implementation of the order continues, we respectfully request the bureau to provide a formal response re-emphasizing the definition of dispatchable location, to ensure that all carriers subject to this requirement understand and comply with the meaning and intent of this critical element of the order,” the letter said.

ATIS is the program manager for the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD). In 2016, ATIS released a new standard, titled Location Accuracy Improvements for Emergency Calls (ATIS-0700028 v1.1), which defines the architecture and requirements for buildout of the 9-1-1 NEAD, as well as how information in the database will be processed.

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