An FCC official cited conflicting figures on the number of public safety answering points (PSAPs) that are ready to accept texts, and he encouraged PSAPs to register in an FCC database. During a webinar organized by the National 911 Program, Tim May, the 911/next-generation 911 (NG-911) projects manager in the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, said that 465 PSAPs are registered as text-capable in the FCC’s database, which represent 6% of PSAP jurisdictions or 23% of the U.S. population.
But he said that two vendors that provide text control center services say that 900 to 950 PSAPs are either capable of receiving texts or are on a path to do so. He said the FCC would like its database and the numbers of vendors to line up and he encouraged PSAPs to register in the agency’s database. Mr. May also said that the FCC plans to provide a beta map of text-to-911 availability aimed at consumers. Regarding industry compliance with the FCC’s 911 indoor location accuracy rules, Mr. May encouraged public safety entities to collaborate with industry to ensure that the best access points in their communities are included in the planned National Emergency Address Database (NEAD).
Mr. May also said the FCC plans to release in January 2016 a summary of non-confidential information submitted to the agency in certifications on 911 reliability. The first certifications from companies were filed in October. He also said that the bureau is finalizing its seventh annual report to Congress on which states are diverting 911 surcharges for other purposes. The report is due by Dec. 31 and will be released publicly in late January or early February, Mr. May said. The report includes data submitted by 48 states, the District of Columbia, and other jurisdictions, he said. This year’s report will include more in-depth data on areas such as operations. – Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org