An SOS for 911 Systems in Age of High-Tech
There are over 6,000, 911 call centers in the United States, many unable to pinpoint calls coming from cellphones or VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
The Federal Communications Commission is moving ahead with efforts to bring the nation’s 911 system up-to-date by arming all call centers with the technology to pinpoint wireless callers to within 300 meters, but the effort will be expensive–$340 million, according to preliminary estimates by the National Emergency Number Association.
Funding will come from surcharges on cell-phone lines, which states and local governments can levy by federal mandate.
Though Congress in 2004 passed a measure authorizing the spending of $250 million a year for new 911 technology, no money has yet been appropriated.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the New York Times (04/06/07); Dewan, Shaila.