The FCC Takes a BOLD! Move Towards Text-To-911

 text to 911 emergencies

Text-to-911, the ability to reach emergency call takers through text messages. As of May 15, 2014, the four major U.S. carriers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint began to offer text-to-911 to select markets. The Federal Communications Commission has began expanding the use of text-to-911 to gain access to Public Safety Agencies in some states, however, not all states and not all counties in those states have yet received this new mobile development. The FCC claims that due to the limited availability you should “not rely on text to reach 911″ and that “in most cases, you cannot reach 911 by sending a text message.” In addition, you have to remember to include the full address along with the emergency in the message and since it is basic text messaging, video and photographs are not accepted.

How does it even work?

Send emergency SMS messages by using the single code “911” as the destination address of the SMS message with the full address along with the emergency.

Some emergency call centers are accepting these messages via their TTY systems, traditionally used to help the hearing impaired communicate by phone while others use browser-based technologies.

Select counties in the following states now have the text-to-911 option, these states include, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia. Full coverage across the U.S. could take years.

What do you think about this new development in public safety and technology?


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