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A U.S. court agreed to stay a stricter standards for wireless phone companies and e911 service standards

Last September, the Federal Communications Commission reached a decision that would raise the standard on E911 service and force mobile phone operators to test the service locally rather than the usual state and national tests. The FCC gave mobile phone companies five years to meet these standards, reported Reuters.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Tuesday granted a stay on the decision made in September. A group of wireless phone companies, including AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint Nextel, requested the stay while they appeal the application of the standards.

E911 is an emergency service that allows firefighters and law officials to track where emergency calls come from. Under current standards, emergency operators can locate a call within 150 to 300 yards.

The new standards would strengthen the accuracy of wireless carriers by forcing them to perform tests on local levels rather than state and national levels. This would remove the same standards being applied to different areas where accuracy is poor in one and strong in another.  

It is necessary to raise these standards on this service because under the current system, emergency workers face difficulty with the accuracy in location of a call. Some of the trouble locations are multi-story buildings and highways.   The new standards would provide testing for locations such as these and strengthen the accuracy for these particular instances.

The FCC requires that the companies meet the standards over the next five years, by September 11, 2012.





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