Verizon to offer texts to 911 by 2013

Verizon to offer texts to 911 by 2013
There are a number of legitimate reasons why someone in danger might not be able to call 911. The person might be hard of hearing or unable to speak, or perhaps the situation is just too dangerous for speaking to a 911 operator. There will be a solution soon as Verizon announced that it will be working with TeleCommunication Systems to allow its customers to send text messages to 911 centers by 2013. FCC spokesperson Tammy Sun was shining about the plan saying that the agency, "commended the company for offering consumers another way to reach 911 that is consistent with how millions of consumers already use mobile devices in their daily lives."

Back in 2010, the FCC itself said that it wanted to bring 911 into the Digital Age by offering SMS service. Outside of asking for ideas and exhorting the carriers on, nothing really has come of the FCC's involvement. For some time, there has been a need to update 911 services to allow those with low battery strength or a poor wireless signal, to summon help. In 2009, two girls stuck in as storm drain updated their Facebook status before seeking emergency help. In another case, a man sent out a tweet to report that a woman was having a seizure because he did not have enough battery life to make a call.

Verizon will be using its current CDMA SMS network to handle the texts to 911 and the service will be available to all Verizon customers sporting a phone that supports text messages and have a service plan that includes text messaging. Ironically, back in January 2011 during a snowstorm in Washington D.C., 8300 calls to 911 on the Verizon network in the area failed which led to an FCC probe.

source: VentureBeat via Engadget

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11 Comments

1. GeekMovement unregistered

That would be awesome to come to the other carriers as well. Great idea.

2. sportsinger75

Posts: 79; Member since: Nov 11, 2011

Awesome idea. I hope all carriers implement this. Great for situations where calling isn't an option or assistance is needed really quickly.

3. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

So useful since I need to call 911 so often......?

5. whothisperson

Posts: 102; Member since: May 06, 2012

Did you even read the entire article before commenting.......? It shows a number of good situation where it can be useful. Hopefully you will be in one of them where you will not be able to call 911 and wish you had this service then you will understand.

8. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

I did, but how often are you going to be in one of those situations. I think falling off my couch and dieing is more likely than me being in one of those situations!

11. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

well since there dont seem to be any negatives, why not?

4. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Once VZW's implementation is up and running, expect FCC to put irresistible pressure on the other carriers to have similar capability. Props to VZW for being first.

6. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

this wouldve been great to have 3 years ago in my hostage situation.

9. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Was that a joke, or are you 4real? That must have had been scary.

10. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

ok so it wasnt a hostage situation, but i did have this guy try and break into my house while i was home.

7. DroidGod

Posts: 48; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Rubs forehead twice*

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