Saturday, May 12, 2012

Text-to-911 Could be Nationwide by 2013

The Federal Communications Commission is currently working on the Next Generation 911 Initiative, a program that will update the 9-1-1 system to reflect advances in communication, such as data, images, VoIP services, and others.

Image of a woman texting
Via Flickr user Jhaymesisviphotography
Part of the initiative involves Verizon and their chosen vendor, TeleCommunication Systems, creating a text-to-911 system which would allow people to use the texting function on their phones to notify 911 of emergencies. A similar system is already in place in the United Kingdom.

It appears the text-to-911 service would at first be limited to Verizon Wireless users and will be rolled out gradually across the country. With any luck it will spread quickly to other carriers. Eventually the FCC hopes to have the groundwork in place for people to be able to send images and video to emergency responders, which could greatly aid them.

(via ArsTechnica)

1 comment:

  1. I am excited to see there is so much interest in this arena as I work for a start-up company that is currently releasing its own nation-wide subscription-based 911 text system by July 2012. Why subscribe you ask? Well, first and foremost, using an SMS system is fraught with some fundamental limitations as it was developed in the mid 1980’s. If you are not aware SMS is a transmission system that is sent in the space between phone calls, which means that by their very nature they must be kept concise; no more than 150-160 characters. Any messages that might be more than this limitation are split into multiple "pages" or submissions. SMS is not designed as a smart system, it doesn't recognize the order these pages are sent in although it does use shortest path first to send each page. The problem? each page being sent independent of the other means secondary pages could, in theory and practice, show up first; causing misunderstood communications.

    In order to alleviate this and many other issues Internet Business Enterprises LLC has developed; a data gateway system that uses a hybrid geo location system to locate our subscribers in their moment of need. 911TM has developed over time as the brain child of our founder with many years spent working side-by-side with 9-1-1 dispatchers in the IT disciplines. In this time he has come to know many truths about the 9-1-1 system as a whole; for starters, the entire 9-1-1 model is financially flawed and has had inadequate funding to cover current costs let alone future expenses. Many states are currently resorting to regionalizing centers to stretch funds; even though this model was tested and failed in previous attempts with the nation’s land line phone service providers.

    Our business model will actually pay participating centers to receive 9-1-1 contacts through our application; to our knowledge, there are no other system providers in that class. We would ask that you consider this a way to help your local 9-1-1 centers generate income so they can revitalize and face their futures on more certain ground. You can view our YouTube videos at The public web page for our application is if you click on the "Manage" icon more details are provided. To return to the home page you can click on the logo at the top. If there are any questions feel free to email me at the Public Relations department at:


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