APCO Asks FCC for E9-1-1 Location Accuracy Rules Clarifications
Monday, February 10, 2020 | Comments

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International submitted a petition for clarification in response to the FCC’s fifth report and order regarding wireless E9-1-1 location accuracy requirements.

APCO said its intent is to clarify the rules, so that wireless carriers provide the 9-1-1 location information expected on the timeline established by the commission. Clarification is needed so that, in the event of noncompliance, emergency communications centers (ECCs)/public-safety answering points (PSAPs) can raise appropriate concerns with the carriers and FCC.

The association said several aspects of the order require clarification; some of the questions outlined in the petition follow. Which phones should consumers expect to provide vertical location information with 9-1-1 calls? How do carriers ensure that they have deployed Z-axis technology in a manner that will achieve the accuracy demonstrated in the test bed? What additional Z-axis technology testing is required, given that the testing described in CTIA’s Stage Z test report was not sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the z-axis metric? When must carriers provide floor level information in addition to the altitude of a 9-1-1 caller?

“APCO respectfully requests swift action by the commission to ensure there is no risk of delay to the location accuracy benchmarks,” the association said.

APCO previously laid out its concerns with the FCC’s proposed rules for indoor location accuracy for 9-1-1 calls. The main point of contention for APCO is that the draft rules require height above ellipsoid (HAE), a raw technical format for altitude. A 9-1-1 dispatcher would receive something similar to “101 Main Street; 76 meters, +/- 3 meters HAE” instead of “101 Main Street, 7th floor” or “101 Main Street, Apt. 702.” APCO said the latter would be more effective for 9-1-1 centers.

The full petition is here.

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