April 2, 2023

Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile deploy 911 technology to ID callers’ floor location

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Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile vertical location data agreement overview: 

  • Who: Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have made good on their agreement with the Federal Communications Commission to deploy vertical location technology. 
  • Why: Vertical location technology will allow 911 responders to pinpoint the location of a caller located in a large multistory building. 
  • Where: The technology is meant to help 911 responders nationwide. 

Newly developed and deployed technology will allow major phone carriers Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile to pinpoint the floor of a caller located in a large multistory building. 

The freshly utilized technology is part of an agreement the top three wireless carriers in the U.S. made with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last year, Law360 reports.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile each certified with the FCC last week that the carriers were able to test the new technology, including Google’s Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) and Apple’s Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO). 

The FCC created the rules to help 911 responders pin down the location of someone calling from a large multistory building. 

Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T fined $100,000 by FCC over tech lag

The carriers made the decision to deploy the technology as part of separate consent decrees made with the FCC last June that required them each to pay $100,000 and promise to implement a way to detect callers’ vertical location, Law360 reports. 

The FCC levied the fines due to the carriers’ lag in deploying the technology since the agency had given a deadline of April 3, 2021, for carriers to do so in the nation’s 25 largest markets. 

Last spring, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile requested an 18-month extension to deploy the technology, citing challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, a request the FCC partially accepted, Law360 reports. 

While the consent decree allowed for a delay in certification, it still required the carriers to begin providing 911 call centers with vertical location data within seven days. 

The consent decree also stipulated that the carriers must create a compliance plan that included testing, the $100,000 fine and conditions related to reporting and public interests, Law360 reports. 

How do you feel about technology pinpointing your location in a multistory building? Let us know in the comments! 

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