SACRAMENTO – The California Technology Agency has released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking information from vendors on Text-to-9-1-1 technologies available to enhance California’s public safety response and accessibility. The deadline to respond is March 20, 2013.
The RFI is part of the Technology Agency’s Next Generation 9-1-1 strategic planning efforts to enhance the means by which Californians can request emergency services. The responses from this RFI will reveal solutions available for California to aid in the development of a Next Generation 9-1-1 system that can support multi-media technology such as video and photos, and assist public safety. The Technology Agency is scheduled to launch its first Text-to-911 Pilot Project by Fall 2013.
With billions of text messages sent daily across the nation, cell phones are an increasingly popular tool for communication. According to The Pew Internet and American Life Project 2012, 88 percent of American adults have a cellphone and of those, almost 75 percent send and receive text messages. Not only convenient, text messaging also provides vital accessibility to California’s disabled communities.
In December 2012, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the nation’s four major mobile phone carriers – AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA – agreed to implement 9-1-1 texting nationwide by May 2014. By June 2013, in areas where texting is not yet supported, “bounce back” messages will begin alerting citizens to call 9-1-1 instead of texting.