Next Generation 911 Will Accept Texts, Photos & Videos

The FCC has announced its plan to update the ways people can report emergencies.

At a conference in Philadelphia this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski announced an action plan to improve the deployment of next generation 911 services.

The plan will allow emergency responders to receive text messages, videos and photos as well as voice calls from individuals, while providing automatic location information to ensure a quicker response time. Mr. Genachowski said:

The unfortunate truth is that the capability of our emergency response communications has not kept pace with commercial innovation — has not kept pace with what ordinary people now do every day with communications devices. The shift to NG911 can’t be about if, but about when and how.

This improvement would give individuals more options for contacting 911 and would especially benefit those with disabilities such as speech and hearing impairments.

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