News Column

Smart Horizons and APCO Prepare for Text-to-9-1-1 Availability

May 14, 2014



ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 14 -- The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials issued the following news:

On January 30, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Policy Statement and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking concerning text-to-9-1-1. As part of its policy pronouncement, the FCC stated that every wireless carrier and provider of text messaging services using numbers from the North American Numbering Plan should support text to 9-1-1 capabilities that enable the public to send text messages to 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Further, among its proposals, the FCC encouraged the cooperation of industry leaders and the public safety community to develop solutions to achieve this objective, and proposed rules that would require all text providers to make text-to-9-1-1 available by December 31, 2014.

The FCC's actions built upon the voluntary commitment of the four national wireless carriers (in agreement with APCO and NENA) to make text-to-9-1-1 services available to PSAPs that are capable of and request text-to-9-1-1 service by May 15, 2014. The four national carriers also agreed to implement a bounce-back (auto-reply) message by June 30, 2013 to alert subscribers attempting to text an emergency message to instead dial 9-1-1 when text-to-9-1-1 is unavailable in that area.

In anticipation of the agreed-upon May 15 deadline, Smart Horizons and APCO International will offer a text-to-9-1-1 feature in their all-in-one call handling software, 9-1-1 Adviser, in late spring.

"We are proud to be embarking upon such a groundbreaking undertaking," said Smart Horizons Program Manager Nikia Anderson. "Adding this innovative technology to our product is exciting and we look forward to seeing how this technology will revolutionize call handling in PSAPs."

"APCO is pleased that Smart Horizons has updated its 9-1-1 Adviser software to include text-to-9-1-1," said APCO President Gigi Smith. "Our continued partnership with Smart Horizons ensures that PSAPs can prepare for text-to-9-1-1 at a reasonable cost."

9-1-1 Adviser, developed in partnership with APCO, is a cost efficient, call handling solution that includes APCO's baseline EMD, law enforcement, fire, and missing and exploited children guidecard sets. The software provides a dynamic, robust delivery system that will allow your team to dispatch with confidence.

For more information on 9-1-1 Adviser, visit www.911Adviser.com.

[Category: Government/Public Administration]

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