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Verizon to offer texts to 911 by 2013

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Verizon to offer texts to 911 by 2013
"Verizon is at the forefront of 911 public safety innovations, and today’s announcement is another step in making SMS-to-911 service available to those who cannot make a voice call to 911. Our company is continuing its long-standing commitment to address the needs of public safety and our customers by offering another way to get help in an emergency by using wireless technology."-Verizon VP Marjorie Hsu
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.

+- Press Release source: VentureBeat via Engadget

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posted on 06 May 2012, 02:56 2

1. GeekMovement (unregistered)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 05:55 2

2. sportsinger75 (Posts: 71; Member since: 11 Nov 2011)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 07:37 1

3. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 13:39 2

5. whothisperson (Posts: 102; Member since: 06 May 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.

posted on 06 May 2012, 15:01

8. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 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!

posted on 06 May 2012, 21:14 2

11. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 07:47 2

4. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5993; Member since: 22 Dec 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.

posted on 06 May 2012, 13:54

6. thedarkside (Posts: 654; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 15:02

9. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 15:11

10. thedarkside (Posts: 654; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

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

posted on 06 May 2012, 14:08

7. DroidGod (Posts: 48; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)

Rubs forehead twice*

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