The FCC today unanimously adopted new rules that will require improved location data to be delivered to 911 call centers from wireless phones.
This decision is an important step forward in generating a dispatchable address from wireless phones located indoors, helping ensure that first responders can reach victims as quickly as possible. When fully implemented, technologies like these will help save lives. But there is considerable work to be done, and Cisco will work with first responders, service providers, the FCC and enterprises to help reach this goal.
There are many technologies that have a role to play when a consumer dials 911 from his or her mobile phone, and chief among those technologies is Wi-Fi. In fact, because Wi-Fi Access Points are associated with a civic, dispatchable address, Wi-Fi generated location data from residential locations will play an important role in achieving the goals established by the FCC for locating 911 wireless callers.
Various market sources indicate Wi-Fi penetration of US households is almost 60 percent. Households with fixed line broadband use Wi-Fi more heavily, with Wi-Fi penetration at 80 percent. Consistent with historical growth in the market, Cisco expects Wi-Fi household penetration to continue to increase, and believes Wi-Fi can be an important tool toward finding callers.
Enterprises can help, too, because emergencies also happen at work. A recent Cisco survey of enterprises with more than 100 employees shows that 80 percent of companies either have Wi-Fi everywhere or in designated areas.
Technology is available today to connect enterprise Wi-Fi location data to first responders, and Cisco will enthusiastically support industry and first responders in implementing the FCC’s decision.”