Carriers have to let you text 911 by the end of the year

Discussion in 'Members News Depot' started by Jeffrey, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Active Member

    Jun 18, 2012
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    You've had the option of texting 911 in a handful of US cities for a couple of months, thanks in part to voluntary efforts from bigger cellphone carriers. However, the FCC doesn't want you to be left out solely because you're on a smaller network. The agency has just adopted rulesrequiring that all American wireless providers have the capability for text-to-911 by the end of the year. You won't necessarily get emergency messaging by that point, but carriers will have six months to implement it in a given region if a local call center makes a request.

    Right now, the new regulation won't make a big difference. Only Maine and Vermont are fully prepared to handle SMS in a crisis, and you'll only find some form of coverage in 16 states. However, the FCC's move means that adoption could grow very quickly -- now that carriers can't say no, 911 facilities are more likely to push for the technology. Don't be surprised if you can soon send a text-based cry for help at any moment when a voice call would be difficult or dangerous.

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