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June 26, 2014

The FCC's New Standards for Indoor 911 Location Services Can Be Satisfied with Existing Technology


A thorough round of several independent testing of existing hybrid wireless location technology conducted by TechnoCom demonstrates that the FCC's newest requirements for location service requirements are achievable within the proposed timeframe as specified by the FCC. These location technologies are meant to provide accurate information on where a caller is when they are making a call to 911, even while they are indoors, as there are several emergency circumstances where it is impossible or even dangerous for a caller to speak.

This study was submitted to the FCC on Tuesday by TechnoCom, one of the top wireless location engineering firms in the country. While several wireless carriers balked at the FCC's ruling and claimed that the requirements were too strict for currently existing technology, this study confirms that the technology does indeed exist, and that the FCC's requirements are warranted. According to the report, “The outcome is a current overall performance that readily meets the FCC's proposed location performance threshold for indoor wireless E911 at the 67th percentile. The demonstrated performance even comes very close to meeting the 50 meter threshold at 80 percent, which is intended for 5 years from adoption of the proposed rules.”

Ultimately, this means that wireless carriers will have to step up to the plate and improve their location services, as their claim that the technology to meet the standards doesn't exist has been thoroughly disproved. The tests surveyed more than 62 test points from 16 different buildings made out of various materials and with different construction techniques to get thorough results, and used wireless location technology provided by TruePosition's Upink Time Difference of Arrival (UTDOA) as well as a hybrid Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) solution. The FCC estimates that, if these requirements are met, up to 10,000 additional lives could be saved every year.




Edited by Allison Sansone

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