Feeds

'My house is on fire m8 lol' ... 911 texting tested in the US

Jumped out of window. Femur shattered. Losing blood. kthxbye!

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Injured, on fire, or under fire citizens can now text the emergency services in a new pilot program in the US.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that it had selected a number of (primarily rural) areas to trial the service, in which citizens can send texts to 911 in order to notify police and fire departments of emergency situations.

The service, which has been in the works for years, will be trialed with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile networks in areas where call centers have been equipped to receive the SMS calls. Users in areas which do not yet have text-to-911 enabled will send bounce-back messages.

The FCC noted that users who can place a 911 call by voice should do so, even in the areas where text services are enabled.

Thus far, the text service is limited to a dozen trial deployments (PDF list). While most of the deployments are in small-population and rural areas, full state roll-outs have been introduced in Maine and Iowa.

The FCC has said that it wants to rollout the program nationwide by the end of the year, so that anyone who wants to complain to the police about the quality of their pizza can do so without the embarrassment of having voice recorded.

Jokes aside, the text-to-911 service has the very practical and beneficial aim of improving emergency services for the hearing-impaired or those who would otherwise have trouble making a voice call. Such services could supplement TTY and text telephone services for the hearing impaired.

In the UK, similar services have been set up which allow registered mobile users to access emergency services through their mobile devices. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.