911 location tracking should be added to VoIP calls, FCC chair says

People using tech platforms like VoIP to call 911 should have their location sent, too.

James Martin/Techhnews

The US Federal Communications Commission will be deciding next month whether to expand 911 location tracking to other calling platforms such as VoIP. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said Tuesday that street address, floor number and suite number should be conveyed via all emergency calls.

Pai has produced draft rules that would see “dispatchable location” information provided to emergency responders “regardless of the technological platform used.” This includes connected VoIP calls, multiline telephone systems, fixed telephone services and telecommunications relay services.

At the same time, Pai is pushing the FCC to implement Kari’s Law, which would see dial-out requirements — such as dialing 1 for an outside line in an office building — removed from 911 calls being made from multiline phone systems. This includes offices, hotels, hospitals and college campuses.

During its August meeting, the FCC will also be voting on Pai’s proposal to extend the robocalls ban to text messages and international calls.

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