After years of having a GPS-equipped phone, the idea of not having GPS is a little crazy. Even with smartphone adoption rates dramatically increasing, there are still plenty of folks out there with maps and awesome memories. With all of this great mobile technology out there, it’s only fair that those in need of help during times of crisis should be able to count on emergency services to have accurate location-finding technology and be able to find them quickly.
The FCC has thus ruled that all telephone service providers, including VOiP services, must meet increased location accuracy rules by a date to be determined in 2019 — in order to better aid in pin-pointing the location of 911 calls.
According to Courthouse News Service, 911 calls from phones without GPS require the carrier to triangulate the caller’s location from cell towers, which is less efficient than the phone’s GPS simply relaying location data back to emergency services.
Either way, the FCC estimates that with or without the new rules, 85 percent of cell phone owners will have GPS-equipped devices by 2018. Hopefully the leftover 15 percent gets with the program before anything that requires a call to 911 goes down.
You can find the FCC’s statement here.