The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sought to save lives with better mobile location data, waving on a proposal which would require operators to more accurately pinpoint what floor of a building an emergency call is coming from.
Under the proposed rule, operators would have to determine a caller’s vertical location to within three metres of the originating device for 80 per cent of indoor calls in the top 25 US markets by April 2021, and the top 50 markets by April 2023.
The plan is based on the results of testing conducted by industry association CTIA at the behest of the FCC. The group originally recommended a five-metre range of accuracy, but revised its goal following feedback from public safety organisations.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement the standard would make it easier for emergency responders to accurately locate mobile callers in multistory buildings: “I have every expectation that our proposal will give our nation’s first responders the information they need to save lives.”
But Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks argued the policy doesn’t go far enough.
“Our record reflects it is possible to locate 911 callers with more precision, and I think we should be able to do it in less time all across the country,” Rosenworcel said.
The FCC is currently accepting comments on the proposal and will vote to adopt it at a later date.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back