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FCC Acknowledges 911 Call Routing is Broken

Adam Havey

The FCC recently released a Notice Of Inquiry into 911 routing problems because 911’s outdated technology often sends 911 calls to the wrong dispatch center. When that happens, the incorrect dispatch center has to talk to the caller, determine where the call belongs and then transfer that caller to the correct 911 dispatch center. That takes several minutes — often resulting in loss of life or property.

The Inquiry notes the following key problems:

  1. Each time a wireless 911 call is “misrouted”and transferred in this manner, the call transfer process consumes time and resources in both the PSAP that initially receives the call and the PSAP to which the call is transferred, and the process ultimately delays dispatch and the ability of first responders to render aid. We have reason to believe that 911 misroutes are not occasional or isolated and in fact occur frequently, on occasion with deadly consequences. The importance of addressing this issue is escalating as the public is increasingly dependent on wireless networks and devices for access to 911.
  2. 911 calls that are received by one PSAP and then transferred to another are commonly referred to as “misrouted” calls or “misroutes.” However, it is important to note that the “misroutes” that are the subject of this inquiry mostly result from current 911 call routing mechanisms that rely on cell tower location working as designed, not from technical failure of those mechanisms.

The paper goes on to give some shocking examples,

Guard Llama solves the 911 routing problem because we dispatch police to your location based on the GPS coordinates of your phone – not the location of the nearest cell phone tower. Get Guard Llama and get help faster – from the right dispatch center.

Adam Havey Co-Founder
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