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CTIA Statement on the FCC’s Adoption of a Further NPRM on Commercial Operations in the 3550-3650 MHz Band

In response to the FCC’s adoption of a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding commercial operations in the 3550-3650 MHz band, I said:

“We appreciate the continued efforts of the FCC and NTIA to make available spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band for commercial wireless services to help meet consumers’ ever increasing demand for mobile services. The 3.5 GHz band holds promise for a variety of services, including small cell deployment and wireless backhaul, which can serve as part of the network capacity solution to the growing demand for mobile broadband while promoting innovations in deployment and spectrum management. While CTIA supports reallocation of the 3.5 GHz band, we believe that it is critical for the FCC to establish the right incentives and certainty to promote investment and innovation in this band.”

Are You and Your Wireless Devices Prepared for Emergencies?

Emergencies are unpredictable, but here are some simple tips to follow so you – and your wireless devices – are prepared.

Before:

  • Save emergency numbers (doctors, vets, family, friends, etc.) on ALL wireless devices. By doing so, you’ll know you have the contact information needed, even if your device is lost or runs out of power.
  • Keep your wireless devices and chargers close and safe from the elements. If a hurricane or flooding is possible, consider sealing the extra batteries or chargers in a waterproof bag.

During:

  • Safety first. You may be tempted to film or photograph an unusual situation, but don’t! Stay away from dangerous situations.
  • Limit non-emergency communications to texts, not voice calls. Disasters may challenge networks, so limit your non-emergency communications to texts, not voice calls. This will help first responders and911 callers so they may communicate with each other. If you need 911 services and it is safe for you to do so, remember that voice calls are preferred, not texts.
  • Save your battery. If you lose power, turn off superfluous applications (such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) and minimize usage and your screen’s brightness. If you would need 911, you want to make sure your device has power.

Check out the rest of the “E.M.E.R.G.E.N.C.Y.” tips and suggestions on how to extend your battery life.

States and Localities Must be Good Stewards of Wireless Consumers’ Support for 911

As April is “911 Education Month,” it’s a good time to think about how the wireless industry and its consumers support our nation’s 911 communication system. Americans use wireless to contact 911 services more than 400,000 times per day to save lives, stop crimes and help others in emergencies. But the numbers don’t tell the full story. Check out some true accounts about every day citizens who used wireless to act in an extraordinary circumstance.

The 911 system is generally funded through state and local fees and surcharges paid by consumers on telecommunications services, including wireless. As wireless service providers continue to invest substantial resources in networks and equipment to support 911, wireless consumers pay more than $2 billion a year to support state and local 911 services, including operations and equipment upgrades for 911 emergency call centers. 911 funds make sure that our nation’s emergency call takers and first responders are properly equipped to handle wireless 911 calls and, increasingly, text messages.

Unfortunately, some states used those funds earmarked for 911 for non-911 purposes. As shown in the chart below, while the number of states that raid their 911 funds has recently declined, CTIA and its member companies believe that even one state that raids the 911 fund is too many. Adding to our concern, many states and localities don’t have safeguards in place, such as audits, to determine if funds are being properly spent. States and localities need to use 911 funds for their intended purpose: to ensure the public 911 call centers and public safety community have the resources needed to respond to 911 calls, including those from wireless devices.

Source: FCC Report to Congress on State Collection and Distribution of 911 and Enhanced 911 Fees and Charges, December 31, 2013. http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/911/Net%20911/NET_911_Act_Report_to_Congress_123113.pdf

Source: FCC Report to Congress on State Collection and Distribution of 911 and Enhanced 911 Fees and Charges, December 31, 2013. http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/911/Net%20911/NET_911_Act_Report_to_Congress_123113.pdf

CTIA and our member companies remain ardent supporters of the 911 system and are committed to working with Congress and state legislatures to stop states from misdirecting these critical funds. We owe it to our nation’s 911 and public safety professionals -- who are always there when we need them -- to make sure they have what they need to perform their jobs as safely, effectively and efficiently as possible.

What You Should Know about Text-to-911

April is “National 911 Education Month,” so it’s a good time to say thanks to first responders – and their families – who are tirelessly and selflessly dedicating themselves to saving protecting people and saving lives. It’s also important that we understand how to use 911 in an emergency, especially ...

Support the Internet Tax Freedom Act to Keep Internet Affordable

As part of the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) Coalition, 29 bipartisan groups sent a letter to members of Congress asking them to support the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (H.R. 3086) and the Internet Tax Freedom Forever Act (S. 1431). Those proposals are aimed at making permanent ...

The Evolution of the AMBER Alerts via WEA

Since its inception, the AMBER Alert program helped recover nearly 700 abducted children. Thanks to WEA AMBER Alerts, these notices about abducted children who are in danger are being sent to even more people. Statistics show that the first three hours after an abduction are the ...

Johns Hopkins: Disaster Planning Apps: April WOW Wireless Lifechanger

In the face of disasters or epidemics, the best laid plans may be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the damage or the number of injuries. To help better plan for these disasters, researchers at the Johns Hopkins National Center for the Study of Preparedness and Catastrophic Event Response (PACER) developed ...

Location-Accuracy: Finding Those in Need: April WOW Insider Interview

Americans make more than 400,000 wireless 911 calls every day, but wireless devices offer so much more to first responders than a phone call. CTIA Assistant Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Brian Josef discusses how wireless assists 911 operators, the current state of location services and the future of E911.

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