Proceed to WirelessDevNet Home Page
Publications, e-books, and more! Community Tutorials Store Downloads, tools, & Freebies! IT Career Center News Home

EMail Address:

  - Articles
  - Columns
  - Training
  - Library
  - Glossary
   Career Center
  - Career Center Home
  - View Jobs
  - Post A Job
  - Resumes/CVs
  - Resource Center
  - Marketplace Home
  - Software Products
  - Wireless Market Data
  - Technical Books
  - Daily News
  - Submit News
  - Events Calendar
  - Unsubscribe
  - Delivery Options
  - Discussion Boards
  - Mailing List
  - Mailing List Archives
   About Us
  - About WirelessDevNet
  - Wireless Source Disks
  - Partners
  - About MindSites Group
  - Advertising Information Press Release

FCC Data: 9 out of 10 Wireless 9-1-1 Calls in D.C. Lack Accurate Caller Location Information

New data obtained from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) show that nine out of ten wireless 9-1-1 calls made in D.C. in the first half of 2013 were delivered without the accurate location information needed to find callers who are lost, confused, unconscious or otherwise unable to share their location.

According to data filed with the FCC by the D.C. Office of Unified Communications last fall, just 10.3% of the wireless calls made to the District’s 9-1-1 communications center from December 2012 to July 2013 included the latitude-longitude (or “Phase II” location) needed to find a caller. Of the 385,341 wireless calls made over that period, just 39,805 had that “Phase II” information, while the remaining “Phase I” calls only showed the nearest cell tower, an area too broad to be useful for emergency responders.

“These results reveal an alarming public safety crisis,” said Jamie Barnett, former Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Director of the Find Me 911 Coalition. “When nine in ten emergency callers in our nation’s capital cannot be located on wireless phones, we know that the requirements for location accuracy must be updated immediately. Thankfully, the FCC has proposed a strong new rule to help find wireless callers in need, both indoors and outdoors, and this should eliminate any doubt about the importance of rapid adoption of that rule.”

The location technology currently used by most wireless carriers (called A-GPS) depends on a direct line of sight to satellites, so it often fails in indoor locations or dense urban areas like the District.  The FCC recently proposed a new rule (Proceeding 07-114) to address this issue by requiring wireless carriers to provide accurate location data for indoor calls within two years.  According to the FCC, the proposed rule could save an estimated 10,000 lives a year through faster response times.

“The nation’s capital faces unique security issues, and it’s critical that 9-1-1 callers in DC be quickly located in an emergency,” continued Barnett.  “Unfortunately, the safety of our residents and visitors is being put at risk on an ongoing basis when 9-1-1 cannot identify their locations to send help.  This failure to provide location information is a serious danger anywhere, but especially with the added security threats faced by those who visit, live, or work in the nation’s capital.”

Other data provided by the FCC offered a breakdown by carrier of wireless 9-1-1 calls in DC for a different period of time, from July 1, 2013 to September 30, 2013.  That data showed significant variation for accurate “Phase II” information among carriers:


Total Calls

(7/1/13 -9/30/13)

Phase II Calls

(7/1/13 -9/30/13)

Percent of Calls with Accurate Location Info






















Many of the nation’s leading public safety and public health organizations have submitted comments in support of the proposed FCC rule, including the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriffs’ Association, International Association of Fire Fighters, International Association of Fire Chiefs, National Association of EMS Physicians, National Association of EMTs, National EMS Management Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and National Public Safety Telecommunications Council.

In addition, a survey released in April of 1,014 managers and employees from the call centers that handle 9-1-1 calls found that 99 percent supported the FCC’s proposed requirements for indoor location accuracy within two years, and another 99 percent said the adoption of that rule was “critically” or “very” important for public safety in their communities.

“The FCC has put forward an outstanding proposed rule that will save more than 10,000 American lives each year,” concluded Barnett. “Public safety leaders should continue to stand firm with their members in support of that rule and not be swayed by carrier rhetoric and empty promises of some future solution.”

The Find Me 911 Coalition submitted its FOIA request to the FCC on May 15, 2014.  The materials obtained from the FCC through the FOIA request can be found at

About the Find Me 911 Coalition

Find Me 911 is an effort supported by more than 195,000 individuals, as well as national and local organizations. The individuals and organizations represent a broad range of 911 operators and first responders – emergency medical services personnel, fire fighters and police.  Find Me 911 seeks to ensure that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) move forward quickly to establish a reasonable, measurable level of location accuracy for emergency calls made indoors, enabling first responders to locate emergency calls from wireless phones from all locations rapidly and efficiently.



Eliminate irrelevant hits with our industry-specific search engine!

Wireless Developer Network - A MindSites Group Trade Community
Copyright© 2000-2010 MindSites Group / Privacy Policy
Send Comments to: