NENA Applauds FCC’s Landmark NPRM on Location-Based 9-1-1 Call Routing

December 21, 2022

NENA: The 9-1-1 Association is celebrating the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) adoption today of a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that, if implemented, could revolutionize 9-1-1 in the United States. 

The NPRM — under PS Docket 18-64 — aims to address misrouted 9-1-1 calls by improving location-based routing, which will more precisely route wireless 9-1-1 calls and texts to the correct public safety answering point (PSAP). When someone contacts 9-1-1, every second counts, and nationwide implementation of location-based routing will drastically reduce the likelihood of misrouted emergency calls and texts. 

NENA estimated that call transfers consume over 200,000 hours of excess 9-1-1 professional labor each year. These misrouted calls can contribute to confusion and delay in emergency response, which can have deadly consequences.

Specifically, the NPRM would require all wireless service providers to:

  • Support location-based routing for voice and text 9-1-1 calls nationwide;
  • Use the best available locating for routing in all cases; and
  • Originate text and voice 9-1-1 calls in IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) format upon request by a jurisdiction that can handle NG9-1-1 calls — which would accelerate the ongoing shift toward nationwide deployment of NG9-1-1 services.  

NENA CEO Brian Fontes shared: 

“NENA and its dedicated community of thousands of standards-development volunteers have worked for years to build an interoperable standards-based NG9-1-1 architecture. The consequences of misrouted 9-1-1 calls can be life-altering, and we are thrilled that the FCC has taken the lead to build a fair and reasonable regulatory environment that better facilitates end-to-end NG9-1-1 services. This common-sense move will reduce response times for millions of 9-1-1 calls that occur each year and will save lives.”

NENA notes that while this NPRM only covers wireless 9-1-1 calls, over 80% of all 9-1-1 calls are placed from wireless devices.