FCC Announces 911 Location Accuracy Wireless Provider Compliance Inquiry

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Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced that the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is conducting an inquiry into several wireless providers’ compliance with FCC rules that require them to start delivering 911 callers’ vertical location information by April 3, 2021. Vertical location information can help first responders save lives by finding 911 wireless callers quickly and accurately, even in multi-story buildings. 

The FCC’s rules require nationwide wireless providers to deploy dispatchable location or meet certain vertical location, or z-axis, accuracy requirements by April 3, 2021, and to certify that deployment by June 2, 2021.  Due in part to COVID-19 related challenges with testing vertical location/z-axis testing solutions, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon sought an 18-month extension of the April and June 2021 deadlines.

The FCC Enforcement Bureau will review carriers’ past efforts to come into compliance with the FCC’s deadlines, as well as the current capabilities of vertical location/z-axis solutions.  The Commission notes that the “Enforcement Bureau can take a range of actions for any violations of FCC rules, as appropriate.”

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