Phone companies to relay 911 texts by May 2014
BY Wire reports
Saturday, December 08, 2012
12/08/12 at 4:33 AM
The Federal Communications Commission says the nation's four largest wireless carriers have agreed to relay text messages to text-enabled 911 call centers by May 2014.
The four carriers - AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile - cover 90 percent of the population.
The National Emergency Number Association said call centers are planning technology upgrades and training to handle 911 text messages.
The FCC said texting to 911 could be useful when a phone call could put the caller in danger, and for people with disabilities. But it said people should call 911 during an emergency if they can.
Under the agreement, texters will get an answer, whether their call center is able to receive texts or not. If it can't, they'll get an automated response telling them to call instead.