The prompt and effective dispatch of appropriate emergency services to any reported event is dependent upon obtaining the best location information possible from the caller. This essential element of competent dispatching must occur regardless of the technology type used to access the universal emergency number, 9-1-1. The national effort to resolve technical and operational issues raised by public safety was recognized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The detailed history to meet service equivalency expectations of the public between wire line and wireless telephones, when accessing emergency services, is well documented within FCC Docket Number 94- 102 and its subsequent Orders. In addition, the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council (NRIC VII) sought to supplement the record with subgroups dedicated to the issues surrounding the quality of location accuracy delivered to the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) across the country.
APCO International was both a participant and monitor of this evolving effort on behalf of the thousands of PSAPs serving the wireless telephone user seeking assistance in times of crisis. From the beginning, public safety recognized the challenges presented by wireless E9-1-1 calls to PSAPs. In cooperation with the National Office many of the APCO members took the time to submit comments to the FCC regarding "Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements" (PS Docket No. 07-114), Non-service Initialized Handsets (PC Docket No. 08-51), and other specific issues regarding wireless 9-1-1 standards and requirements. APCO officers and members will continue to work together to ensure that both the FCC and Cellular companies will continue to strive for better wireless accuracy.