Texting 911 Coming Soon

Earlier this year, the FCC asked all major carriers to support text-to-911 and the four communications giants voluntarily complied. Recently, the FCC formally announced that all messaging services and apps must have the ability to text 911. Social network and game messaging apps are exempt, but all services that have the ability to send SMS messages must comply. The CITA Wireless Association (which represents wireless network operators) condemned the FCC’s new regulations in a statement, declaring that they wireless carriers had voluntarily implemented the service, but that it was costly and hard and basically they shouldn’t have had to do it:

“While the wireless industry remains committed to collaborating with public safety to make text-to-911 available in the near-term, we are disappointed that the FCC acted today to codify a voluntary agreement to deploy an interim technological solution across all wireless carriers and interconnected ‘over the top’ text providers. The chilling effect of the Commission’s proposed enforcement role is particularly worrisome in situations where, as here, the voluntary agreement involves new services that face challenging obstacles to implementation.”
The FCC, however, didn’t budge and simply argued that the service would be valuable and lifesaving in many situations where it would endanger the caller to have to speak or where the caller had hearing or speech impediments. This ruling will apply to all carriers and the MVNOs who sell their services.]]>

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