FCC to Add Video, Text Capability to 911 Service
The goal is to ensure that effective emergency response is a critical element of the broadband environment, the FCC said.At the 2011 Association of Public Safety Communications Officials conference in Philadelphia, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a five-step action plan to chart the transition to NG911 (Next Generation 911) services. Working with the public-safety community, carriers, manufacturers and other service providers, Genachowski said his goal is to ensure that effective emergency response is a critical element of the broadband environment. Under the five-step action plan, the FCC will develop automatic location accuracy mechanisms for NG-911; facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards for the hardware and software that carriers and PSAPs (public-safety answering points) use to communicate NG911 information; work with state 911 authorities, other Federal agencies, and other governing entities to provide technical expertise and develop a coordinated approach to NG911 governance; develop an NG911 funding model focused on the cost effectiveness of the NG911 network infrastructure linking PSAPs and carriers; and enable consumers to send text, photos and videos to PSAPs.
Next month, the FCC is expected to launch a rule-making process to consider how to accelerate NG911 adoption to help answer practical technical questions about how to enable text, photo and video transmission to 911, including how to ensure adequate broadband infrastructure to deliver the bandwidth PSAPs will need to provide NG911. As part of the proceeding, the FCC will examine interim solutions for ensuring that carriers and service providers support text-to-911 transmission.