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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MOBILE EMERGENCY SERVICES ARE BEING IMPROVED

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) released new rules to ensure emergency services will more readily be able to access location information about callers using mobile phones.

The new rules require mobile carriers to provide emergency service organisations with the most precise mobile phone location information available for emergency calls made from mobile phones, in situations where a Triple Zero (emergency hotline) caller is unable to verbally report their location.
The Telecommunications (Emergency Call Service) Amendment Determination 2011 (No. 1) will officially commence on 20 April 2011, giving carriers time to trial their systems before making the enhanced capability available to all emergency service organisations.
The new Determination requires mobile carriers to: • provide the most precise location information they have available on request from an emergency service organisation • resolve emergency call location queries with the highest possible priority • ensure emergency service organisations are provided with a designated contact point and telephone number for location queries, or have a dedicated process for location queries • assist an emergency service organisation to identify the relevant mobile network carrying the emergency call
The new rules were made after consultation with mobile carriers, the Emergency Call Person and emergency services organisations, and have the support of all groups as an important step in improving the delivery of mobile location information to enhance the emergency call service.
In an official statement released by ACMA, Acting Chairman Richard Bean said, “Locating callers quickly and with confidence is clearly a crucial element of the Triple Zero emergency call service.”
“The ACMA’s new rules enable emergency service organisations to access the most precise location information that is currently available on the mobile networks and also to automatically capture the benefits from any future developments in location-based services offered by the mobile carriers.”
Mobile phones now account for around 63 per cent of calls made to Triple Zero. Unlike fixed landline phones, emergency calls from mobile phones do not automatically give emergency service organisations accurate details about a caller’s whereabouts.
In addition, the ACMA is continuing to explore with industry and emergency services organisations the potential automatic provision of enhanced mobile location with every emergency call.source

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