December 16, 2014

Urgent Communications interviews Jamie Barnett on proposed location accuracy rules for cellular 911 calls

2 min

Venable partner and retired Navy Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett was interviewed in a December 16, 2014 Urgent Communications article on location accuracy rules for cellular 911 calls. Admiral Barnett, who serves as director of the Find Me 911 coalition, urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve proposed rules over location accuracy of cell calls made inside a building while evaluating ways to leverage Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and small-cell technologies proposed by several major cell carriers.

"I am for dispatchable address; I think it is a good goal…The problem is that…there's not enough in the record to adopt rules on dispatchable address now," Admiral Barnett said while urging the FCC not to have the carriers' plan replace the proposed rules at this time. "What I'd like to see instead is…[for the FCC to] adopt the rules and still do everything that the carriers have said they would do. They're not mutually exclusive by any means, yet the carriers—for some reason—want to displace the rules [proposed by the FCC]."

Admiral Barnett said he supports many of the proposals in carriers' plan in the long term but there are several issues to address before it can be implemented. He pointed to the National Emergency Address Database of Wi-Fi hotspots, beacons and other infrastructure addresses which currently does not exist. "In my building alone, if you walk from door to door, your phone will show numerous Wi-Fi locations. When people move, they take [their Wi-Fi infrastructure] with them. Who’s going to keep that [location database] updated? There is so much to be worked out on that. Can it be? Yes, but we’re talking about years. That is not a reason to supplant these [proposed FCC] rules."