The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to move ahead with a proposal to require cell-phone carriers to provide more accurate information about the location of 911 calls.
Telephone companies already have to inform 911 call centers about the location of landline callers, and there are also federal standards to ensure that emergency responders can find cell-phone callers when they are outdoors. But there are currently no requirements for location accuracy for indoor 911 cell-phone callers.
With more than 70 percent of 911 calls now coming from cell phones, poor location information is making it increasingly difficult for officials to respond to emergencies. Finding a caller inside of a large multistory building is a particular problem, the commission found.
The proposal would require carriers to locate 911 callers within 50 meters of their location horizontally and within three-meter vertically, which would essentially allow emergency responders to know which floor of a building the call was coming from.
The carriers would have to meet the horizontal standard accuracy for 67 percent of calls within two years and 80 percent of calls with five years. The carriers would have three years to meet the vertical accuracy requirement for 67 percent calls and five years for 80 percent of calls.
Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly, the two Republicans on the five-member commission, applauded the new standards but worried that the commission was setting an unrealistic timeline.
“Carriers cannot begin to deploy a technology solution that does not yet exist,” Pai said. “And the public should not be led to rely on a promise that cannot be kept.”
CTIA, the lobbying group for cell-phone carriers, said its companies “stand ready to work” with the commission but urged the agency to pursue “requirements that are grounded in verified data, not aspirational target”‘setting.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had little sympathy for the Republican and industry concerns.
“Hey, we’re dealing with human life,” he said.
Wheeler argued that it’s “never wrong to overreach” on public safety, but he said the commission will remain flexible if technological problems arise.
The FCC will review comments on the proposal before voting on final regulations.
The commission advanced the proposal after Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo and Republican Rep. John Shimkus sent a letter to the agency last month calling for better location accuracy on 911 calls.
- 1 Why Mainstream Republicans Fear Donald Trump
- 2 Meet the Democratic Operatives Fighting Their Party Establishment Over Its Future
- 3 Photos: The Real ‘Rosie the Riveter’ Women
- 4 Another 150 Hillary Clinton Emails Had Classified Info, State Dept. Says
- 5 Why Trump’s Immigration Switch Won’t Move the Needle
What We're Following See More »
Just a day after Donald Trump called her a bigot, Hillary Clinton delivered a scathing speech tying Trump to the KKK and so-called “alt-right.” This new frontier of debate between the two candidates has emerged at a time when Trump has been seeking to appeal to minority voters, among whom he has struggled to garner support. Calling him “profoundly dangerous,” Clinton didn’t hold back on her criticisms of Trump. “He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party,” Clinton said.
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.