The fourth further notice of proposed rulemaking that the FCC plans to consider at its March 15 meeting on vertical 911 location accuracy (TR Daily, Feb. 22) should ask whether carriers should be required to provide floor-level information, according to the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International.
In an ex parte filing in PS docket 07-114 reporting on a phone conversation with Zenji Nakazawa, public safety and consumer protection adviser to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, APCO stressed that “for 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs), the location information must be actionable – meaning that Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) can quickly use it to assist the caller and direct responders to the scene. In this regard, the draft FNPRM asks whether the Commission should specify that CMRS providers must report z-axis information as height above ground level (AGL), as opposed to above mean sea level (AMSL). As APCO previously stated, ‘[v]ertical location information provided as a value relative to mean sea level is not actionable for public safety. If a z-axis metric is adopted, it should include floor level information,’ consistent with the Commission’s direction that a z-axis metric would serve as a backstop for identifying floor level. The difference would mean that PSTs would receive, for example, ‘4th Floor’ as opposed to ’12 meters AGL’ (within permitted confidence and uncertainty levels).
“Therefore, APCO respectfully requests that the draft FNPRM be revised to include the following additional question: ‘Should the Commission specify that CMRS providers must identify the floor level when reporting z-axis information?’ Identifying the floor level is qualitatively different from achieving floor level accuracy, and would better ensure that z-axis information is actionable for ECCs, so that PSTs can more quickly and accurately direct first responders to 9-1-1 callers during emergencies.”- Paul Kirby, email@example.com