In the Matter of
Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements
PS Docket No. 07-114
FOURTH FURTHER NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING
Adopted: March 15, 2019
Released: March 18, 2019
By the Commission: Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly and Carr issuing separate statements;
Commissioner Rosenworcel dissenting and issuing a statement; Commissioner Starks approving in part,
concurring in part, and issuing a statement.
1. Since the Commission first adopted its wireless Enhanced 911 (E911) location accuracy
rules in 1996, the wireless landscape has undergone major changes. In 2018 the number of Americans
with smartphones rose to 77%, up from just 35% in Pew Research Center’s first survey of smartphone
ownership conducted in 2011. As the adoption of cellphones and smartphones has skyrocketed, they
have become an indispensable tool to protect consumers’ health, property, and wellbeing, and many
Americans are now relying on mobile phones as their only phones. Consumers make 240 million calls to
911 each year, and in many areas 80% or more of these calls are from wireless phones. For both first
responders and consumers, the capability to locate wireless 911 callers quickly and accurately is of
critical importance regardless of where the call originates.
2. To ensure that first responders and Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) can find 911
callers quickly and accurately when a consumer calls from a multi-story building, we propose a vertical,
or z-axis, location accuracy metric of plus or minus 3 meters relative to the handset for each of the
benchmarks and geographic requirements previously established in the Commission’s E911 wireless
location accuracy rules. This proposed metric will more accurately identify the floor level for most 911
calls, reduce emergency response times, and save lives.