NextNav Presses FCC to Adopt Z-Axis 9-1-1 Location Metric
Thursday, November 15, 2018 | Comments

Location technology firm NextNav pressed the FCC to adopt a Z-axis metric for locating 9-1-1 calls inside buildings.

Last month, public-safety groups took wireless carriers to task in filings with the FCC regarding 9-1-1 location technology, saying a CTIA proposal is “unacceptable” and accusing carriers of trying to dilute the definition of dispatchable location. CTIA supported a Z-axis metric of only ±5 meters for 80 percent of fixes and added that the FCC should not adopt any metric at this time.

The NextNav representatives emphasized the need to proceed expeditiously with the adoption of a Z-axis metric. “The public-safety community has repeatedly made clear its desire for and need of accurate vertical location in urban markets, and a sufficient technical record exists for the commission to immediately adopt a Z-axis metric of 3 meters as an alternative to the dispatchable location requirement,” the filing said.

The NextNav representatives responded to questions from FCC staff regarding the cost to wireless carriers of making a Z-axis solution that is compliant within 3 meters using NextNav’s technology available in each of the top 50 census metropolitan areas (CMAs). NextNav could make 3-meter-compliant Z-axis service available at a nominal cost — less than a penny per month per handset. Additionally, because only software elements are required in each handset, no incremental cost burdens are imposed on new handsets.

NextNav representatives also responded to questions regarding the timeline for constructing NextNav’s location network in the top 25 CMAs prior to the April 2021 deadline for Z-axis capabilities established by the FCC’s 2015 wireless location order. NextNav confirmed that it could complete the construction of its indoor location network in the top 25 CMAs prior to the April 2021 deadline. Further, although wireless handsets that include NextNav’s enabling software could be made available by the April 2021 deadline, delays in the adoption of a Z-axis metric will invariably reduce the number and variety of compliant handsets that would be available to consumers prior to the April 2021 deadline.

The full filing is here.

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On 11/17/18, Jim Edmonds said:
This is shameful of the FCC and wireless carriers. Certainly lobbying and money are big factors in their decision to risk the lives of the public.

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