911 Joins the 21st Century - To Add SMS & Video

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Tom Keating
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911 Joins the 21st Century - To Add SMS & Video

Cell phone dialing 911
We all remember the controversy surrounding VoIP & 911. Should they be required to provide 911, shouldn't they? Should PC VoIP apps like Skype be exempt since these are mobile VoIP apps? Back in 2007, Congress passed legislation requiring Internet telephony service providers to provide e911 services. But you may not be aware of how during the Virginia Tech shooting rampage students desperately tried to send text messages to 911. Unfortunately, the 911 system can't handle text messages, multimedia messages or streaming video.

With the plethora of cell phone cameras, sending a live video stream could be extremely helpful to first responders. Further, if it's a shooting situation, kidnapping, or bank robbery, the cell phone user may not be able to speak for fear of harm, but could be able to to silently text or send video.

According to Wired, "In a press release announcing Tuesday’s changes, the FCC pointed to the now-infamous shooting rampage at Virginia Tech as an example of how a more modern system could be useful."

Now the question is who will make the first prank call to 911 sending lurid or sexual pictures or video to the 911 dispatcher?


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