On January 31, 2014 the Federal Communications Commission released a Policy Statement and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the matter of: “Facilitating the deployment of Text-to-911 and other Next Generation 911 Applications” and “Framework for Next Generation 911 Deployment”. The document provides guidance to Commercial Radio Service Providers and other providers of interconnected text messaging services on the FCC’s objective for Text-to-911 as part of the effort to secure a modern Next Generation 911 infrastructure.
The document also seeks comment on a number of topics, including time frames for implementing Text-to-911 services, technical, financial and liability protection. Technical issues include providing accurate location information for not only native Short Messaging Service (SMS) (traditional cellular text service) but also texting services provided by applications using the internet functionality of the user device. This can be further complicated where the user device may be receiving internet services from a Wi-Fi connection and not through the cellular network. Another technical issue is when the user device is not in its home network, but has roamed onto another service provider network. In these cases the text messaging is passed from the visited network back to the home network for processing but the location information is not.
Please download the document here for more information.