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Friday, June 13, 2003

Wireless E911 in Massachusetts.
On The Pulse last night, there was a segment about people who die because states have not implemented Enhanced 911.

States have been collecting money from cell phone users for years to pay for this service, but have not implemented it.

I emailed Verizon to see if they have enhanced 911 in Massachusetts.

Their response:
At this time, E911 is not available in the Massachusetts area. We apologize for any inconvenience as a result of this situation.

Most states have been collecting funds from wireless customers to pay for the enhancements. We would suggest contacting your state Governor as well as your Mayor and/or police chief for further assistance regarding release dates
Time to contact the Governor.

This is the response I got:
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has had wire-line Enhanced 9-1-1 statewide since 1997.

We also just became Phase I compliant with wireless Enhanced 9-1-1. That means wireless 9-1-1 calls provide a callback number and cell site location when they are made. However, we are not yet Phase II compliant -- this is when wireless 9-1-1 calls also provide a physical location of the caller.

The SETB has been collecting a $.30 per month fee from wireless cell phone owners in Massachusetts since July 2002. These funds are used to implement both Phases I & II of wireless Enhanced 9-1-1. We are currently finalizing plans to outfit our three wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 call centers (operated by the State Police in Framingham, Middleboro & Northampton) with the necessary database, network, customer premise equipment, maintenance & monitoring, and training to handle the Phase II calls. When this is complete (hopefully by spring/summer 2004), we will request Phase II data from the wireless providers. They then have six months to fulfill this request, which means that our current target date for Phase II wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 in Massachusetts is late 2004/early 2005.
A fast response from the State of Massachusetts.

Nice. I guess I'll have to email Verizon to tell them that they have Phase I E911.

Maybe you should check the status in your state.

State 911 Deployment Plans: Points of Contact

Update: Verizons response to my clarification:
Thank you for clarifying our response to you.

We are so used to associating the question of E911, to customers only inquiring only to the Phase II portion of providing physical location of the caller. Please forgive our haste.

Thank you again for providing the breakdown as you did.
Now we all all clear.

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