Report: Locating 911 Cell Phone Callers Problematic


A public safety group’s report questions whether police and firefighters can locate people through cell phones when they dial 911, says the Associated Press. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International declined to identify the cell phone companies cited. The Federal Communications Commission requires companies that use “network” technology — triangulating among cell towers to determine callers’ locations — to come within 300 meters of the caller 95 percent of the time.

A company identified as “carrier No. 001” was unable to come within 300 meters of the 911 caller 73 percent of the time in Onondaga County, N.Y.; 64 percent of the time in Marion County, Fla.; and 61 percent of the time in Jasper County, Mo. Joe Farren of CTIA, the wireless industry’s lobbying association, said the technology is “certainly not perfect” and it was “never envisioned to be perfect,” but that it is “as good as today’s technology allows it to be.”


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