FCC probes delay in delivering 911 callers’ vertical location information

The Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 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.
FCC Jessica RosenworcelVertical location information can help first responders save lives by finding 911 wireless callers quickly and accurately, even in multi-story buildings.

“Today we are taking action to ensure that wireless providers deliver on their public safety obligations,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.

The FCC adopted comprehensive rules to improve location information for 911 wireless calls back in 2015.  “It’s time for the FCC, public safety, and wireless carriers to work together to ensure that life-saving 911 location information is being delivered to first responders without further delay,” Jessica Rosenworcel said.

The Commission’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 to such deployment by June 2, 2021.

Several wireless carriers including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon sought an eighteen-month extension of these deadlines, based in part on challenges with testing z-axis solutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of its inquiry, the Enforcement Bureau will review carriers’ past efforts to come into compliance with the FCC’s deadlines as well as the current capabilities of z-axis solutions.  The Enforcement Bureau can take a range of actions for any violations of FCC rules, as appropriate.