Device Location Now Used to Route 9-1-1 Calls and Dispatch First Responders to the Right Location Faster, Accomplishing Long-Standing FCC Policy Goal
May 10, 2022
What’s the news? AT&T* is the first carrier to launch location-based routing to automatically transmit wireless 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate 9-1-1 call centers on a nationwide basis. Through this new “Locate Before Route” feature from Intrado, AT&T can quickly and more accurately identify where a wireless 9-1-1 call is coming from using device GPS and hybrid information to route the call to the correct 9-1-1 call center, also known as public safety answering point or PSAP.
With location-based routing, a device can be located and routed within 50 meters of the device location. Prior to this launch, wireless 9-1-1 calls were routed based on the location of cell towers, which can cover up to a 10-mile radius. This can cause delays in emergency response, especially when a call is made within PSAP border areas where state, county or city boundaries overlap.
The nationwide rollout has started and is available in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Guam. Additional regions will be rolled out over the next several weeks. The nationwide rollout is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.
Why is this important? Today, 68% of adults don’t have a landline in their homes. When AT&T worked with the FCC to establish the first 9-1-1 systems over 50 years ago, communication technology was drastically different with landline phones dominating the market. And now 80% of 9-1-1 calls come from a mobile device.1 With the tremendous growth of wireless connections and mobile 9-1-1 calls, AT&T is deploying this public safety network feature so when an emergency happens, the public has the same fast, accurate and reliable connection to PSAPs, whether they’re calling from their mobile device or a landline phone.
AT&T is paving the way to create safer communities and is the only carrier to provide the most accurate solution to reduce wireless 9-1-1 call transfers beyond what the FCC is requiring carriers today. This is especially important in an emergency when lives are on the line.
AT&T is also the only public safety carrier with FirstNet, Built with AT&T to deliver end-to-end emergency communication solutions to support the public safety community. Additionally, AT&T is the market leader in the U.S. with NextGen 9-1-1 solutions that are critical to keeping communities safe and helping save lives. For three consecutive years, AT&T has been recognized by Frost & Sullivan with the Market Leadership Award for U.S. NextGen 9-1-1 Services.
What are people saying?
Kurt Mills, Executive Director, Snohomish County 911
“We share a busy border with King County and are thrilled with the significant decrease in 9-1-1 transfers. We know that 9-1-1 transfers delay emergency response and the winner here is our community. We very much appreciate the public-private partnership between our agency, AT&T and Intrado that allowed us to be the first in the nation to implement this new routing technology.”
Chris Sambar, EVP, AT&T Network
“Providing our customers with reliable connectivity and high-quality service on America’s largest wireless network is what we strive for everyday at AT&T. Launching this industry-leading public safety solution allows us to ultimately help improve the connections and efficiency for our wireless customers by offering more accurate service when making emergency calls.”
Jeff Robertson, President, Intrado Life & Safety
“Location-based routing is a significant accomplishment for public safety. I’m proud of our collaboration with AT&T and look forward to continued innovation with them as we combine our technologies for the benefit of public safety – doing the right thing for the right reasons.”
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1 Source: National Emergency Number Association.