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After fighting against updated 9-1-1 rules, Verizon emergency system flops

Brunswick police are alerting residents that calls placed from Verizon phones to 911 are not getting through.
August 27, 2014

As we reported last month, the Find Me 911 Coalition has criticized wireless carriers for their lack of proper location information for first responders. Verizon Wireless responded to those claims by stating that their “internal review” showed Verizon handing over precise location information at a much higher rate than what the Find Me 911 Coalition found through data given to the FCC.

The federal government therefore proposed new rules for emergency responders locating 911 callers using wireless carriers. The FCC proposal, released in February, would mandate that for 67 percent of 911 calls in the first few years, cellphone carriers provide the horizontal location of an indoor caller within 164 feet and the vertical location within about 10 feet. The proposal would also require providers to demonstrate compliance and establish a channel for 911 administrators to raise complaints.

The wireless carriers refused such a proposal as they claimed they didn’t have the technology to implement such a plan. In reality, they just don’t want to spend the small amount that it would cost to improve this technology. Then again, are people surprised at the pushback considering the wireless carriers originally fought the FCC on providing any 911 location information in the late 1990’s.


Now, Brunswick police in Maine are alerting residents that calls placed from Verizon Wireless phones to 911 are not getting through. Therefore, the police are encouraging people to contact the police by phone with another carrier or by email. As of yesterday evening, the problem was still an active issue according to a dispatcher who spoke to the Bangor Daily News.

On Brunswick Police Department’s Facebook page, a message was left attributing the problems to “a problem at Verizon Wireless and/or Fairpoint.”