Sometimes, a 911 call is necessary, but difficult to make. It could be an uncomfortable or dangerous situation, or perhaps the reception is just too poor. In instances like those, it’s usually possible to eek out a text message, which is why the FCC is supporting text-to-911. The technology, which has been in the works for a while, may be standard by the end of the year.
The FCC has put forth a new proposal that would require carriers to support texts sent to 911 by the end of 2014. Though all four f the major carriers are on-board, some smaller regional carriers are lagging. The measure is meant to get the technology — which the largest carriers agreed to in 2012 — up and running.
The move is said to be a reaction to changing attitudes. Whereas we once used to rely on calling as a primary method of communication, other methods are fast becoming the standard. Text and other forms of data communications are now the go-to, to which the FCC is responding. Though the system could be abused, and there will have to be some back-end tweaks, text-to-911 is a necessary step forward.
Voice will always remain the better method of communication, as it lends itself to faster delivery of crucial info, but it’s not always possible. At least in having the ability to text your trouble, help can be on the way, rather than you fumbling for a signal. The FCC has also called for “interconnected” text providers to adapt, and work with public safety officials on a similar methodology.