U.S. FCC Rule Strengthens Wireless 911 Location Accuracy Requirements


The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken steps to strengthen its Enhanced 911 (E911) rules, thereby helping first responders more quickly locate 911 callers in multi-story buildings and other tall complexes.

According to a Sixth Report and Order issued by the Commission in mid-July, the FCC has now affirmed the so-called z-axis location accuracy metric requirements for wireless service providers. The z-axis metric is a coordinate-based location measurement that establishes the vertical location of a wireless handset within 3 meters. Adopting the z-axis metric as a requirement will enable service providers to transmit more accurate information to 911 call centers on the location of wireless emergency calls originating from multi-story buildings.

Compliance with the z-axis requirements will be mandatory for wireless companies serving the top 25 and 50 U.S. wireless markets, as of April 2021 and April 2023, respectively.

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