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Think E-911 works in your town? Think again. April 7, 2007

Posted by truthspew in AT&T, E-911.
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There’s been an ongoing debate here in Rhode Island over the fact that our esteemed (Picture me using that term sarcastically.) legislature has been looting the funds to make enhancements to the state E-911 system for things such as GPS location, etc.

I’m happy that Rhode Island seems to have done E-911 right for the most part. What I mean is that the E-911 system here is NOT the exclusive property of Verizon. Sure, Verizon does get to provide trunks and lines for the system, but the system proper and the database access agreement are with the state, not the phone company. As such competition can tap into the same PSAP, same Intrado database, etc. because we RI’ers pay about $1 a month to keep it that way.

An S O S for 911 Systems in Age of High Tech in the New York Times (login with username cottp, password cottp) tells what a charlie foxtrot E-911 services are in other parts of the country. Of course this is precisely what happens when you let the incumbent carrier decide how to plan and implement an E-911 system.

It’s funny, I’m reading Peter Temin and Louis Lambos’ “The Fall of the Bell System” right now. The FCC had it in for Ma Bell from very early on. But AT&T’s own ineptitude and indecision kept it from surviving and staying on the good side of the regulators. This would have meant they’d probably have botched the implementation of E-911 because the FCC interfered in the operations so much.

That makes it so hard for me to believe that the regulators in Rhode Island actually got E-911 right.