AT&T on Tuesday announced the launch of its new location-based routing to automatically transmit wireless 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate 9-1-1 call centers on a nationwide basis. AT&T can quickly and more accurately identify where a wireless 9-1-1 call is coming from using device GPS and hybrid information to route the call to the correct 9-1-1 call center, also known as public safety answering point or PSAP.
AT&T says that this new location-based routing initiative, launched in partnership with Intrado, is the first-ever of its kind. The carrier says that the “Locate Before Route” feature will allow AT&T to identify where a 911 call is coming from within 50 meters of a device’s location.
Today, 68% of adults don’t have a landline in their homes. When the first 9-1-1 systems were established over 50 years ago, communication technology was drastically different, as landline phones dominated the market. Now, 80% of 9-1-1 calls come from a mobile device.
Prior 911 call routing relied on the location of cell towers, which can cover up to a 10-mile radius, resulting in slower emergency response times. Under the new system, AT&T will direct calls to the proper 911 call center, allowing faster response times by first responders.
AT&T is currently rolling out the new routing system, and it is currently live in Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Guam. It will roll out to additional regions over the next several weeks, with a nationwide rollout to be completed by the end of June.