The FCC chairman announced a plan yesterday to update the 911 emergency response system. The five-step plan, called Next Generation 911, would allow the system to receive text messages, voice calls, videos, photos and automatic location information.
More from an FCC press release:
What Is NG911 and Why Do We Need It?
· NG911 supports seamless, end-to-end IP-based communication of emergency-related voice, text, data, photos, and video between the public and public safety answering points (PSAPs). NG911 systems will continue to support the legacy 911 system on a transitional basis for as long as is necessary.
· The benefits of NG911 include:
- Increased public access: NG911 multi-media capabilities expand accessibility (e.g., to persons with disabilities) and give all consumers more calling options in emergencies.
- Enhanced information for first responders: PSAPs receiving text, data, photos, and videos can assess emergencies more quickly and respond more effectively.
- Increased reliability of NG911 networks: IP-based architecture provides more flexibility and resiliency than the legacy circuit-switched 911 system.