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Wireless RERC Makes Text-to-911 Recommendations

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May 2014 – The Wireless RERC filed reply comments to the FCC’s Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding Facilitating the Deployment of Text-to911 and Other Next Generation 911 Applications. In accord with Sprint’s comments, the Wireless RERC agreed that, while relay service providers perform a valuable role in providing telecommunications access for people with disabilities, within the context of 911 calls relay services are not ideal. TRS relies on a third party to convey information from the caller to the call taker and back again, adding time, which in an emergency is of the utmost importance. Based on its research findings, the Wireless RERC recommended a focus on mobile SMS and over the top text (OTT) messaging services as the interim NG911 solution, as both were identified as two of the most preferred methods for people with hearing and speech disabilities to contact emergency services. The comments provided are in favor of regulating the Carrier-NENA-APCP Agreement, so as to ensure consistent access to the service and regulatory parity amongst providers. If the FCC decides not to regulate, the Wireless RERC recommended that the FCC follow the model used with Wireless Emergency Alerts (formerly CMAS) in that providers were required to formally elect to participate in the program, and upon election to participate rules concerning deployment became applicable. Please visit the link below to review the comments in their entirety.

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.