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FCC to fine network operators who can't find customers

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US network operators who can't locate their customers in the case of an emergency are facing fines of over $2m, having already been given 18-months grace to comply.

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fine Sprint Nextel, Alltel and United States Cellular, for failing to provide exact locations of customers making a 911, emergency, call, as specified in the E911 legislation.

All US operators should have been able to locate 95 per cent of callers by the end of 2005, and most have complied though wide scale deployment of A-GPS technology and some triangulation systems.

But not all companies have: "Alltel, Sprint Nextel, and U.S. Cellular failed to meet this critical deadline by a significant margin, despite the clear requirements of the Commission and the needs of their consumers," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a statement.

There's no comment from the companies so far, though one imagines that promises to comply really quickly might still stave off the fines, which the FCC proposes will total $2.825m.®

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