FCC data shows a strikingly low accuracy rate in location data with emergency wireless calls in Washington, D.C.


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With a stronger focus on “cutting the cord,” and leaving all phone calls to our wireless devices, a new report based on FCC data may lead some to want to hold off.
According to a report from public interest group Find Me 911, which was published on July 10, based on FCC data the group ascertained through the Freedom of Information Act, 9 out of 10 emergency wireless calls based in Washington, D.C., in the United States, lack accurate location information. The result is that emergency workers have a harder time responding to emergencies. The data was based on information gathered through the first half of 2013.
From the report:
According to data filed with the FCC by the D.C. Office of Unified Communications last fall, just 10.3% of the wireless calls made to the District’s 9-1-1 communications center from December 2012 to July 2013 included the latitude-longitude (or “Phase II” location) needed to find a caller. Of the 385,341 wireless calls made over that period, just 39,805 had that “Phase II” information, while the remaining “Phase I” calls only showed the nearest cell tower, an area too broad to be useful for emergency responders.
In the report, the data collected showed that both Verizon and Sprint fared better than T-Mobile and AT&T. The pair of GSM carriers managed to bring in about 3.2% and 2.6% accurate data, respectively. Compare that to the average of about 24% from Verizon and Sprint.
Part of the problem cited in the report is the use of A-GPS, which requires a direct view to the satellite reporting location. This can be blocked or otherwise impeded by buildings.
You can check out the full report through the source link below.
[via Find Me 911]

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