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CTIA Statement on the FCC’s August Open Meeting on Text-to-911 and Wireless Towers

After the FCC’s August Open Meeting, I said:                                                        

“CTIA and its member companies have a strong record of enhancing public safety so that wireless consumers, including the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired communities, can reach 911 in their greatest time of need. This record was demonstrated by the successful voluntary commitment made over two years ago by the nation’s largest wireless providers to develop and deploy text-to-911 communications capabilities. While the wireless industry remains committed to assisting in the transition to NG-911 and collaborating with public safety to make text-to-911 available in the near-term, we are disappointed that the FCC acted today to codify a voluntary agreement to deploy an interim technological solution across all wireless carriers and interconnected ‘over the top’ text providers. The chilling effect of the Commission’s proposed enforcement role is particularly worrisome in situations where, as here, the voluntary agreement involves new services that face challenging obstacles to implementation.

“At the same time, CTIA commends today’s action to streamline and harmonize its regulations pertaining to the construction, marking and lighting of wireless towers. Congress, the Administration and this Commission all have recognized the vital need to facilitate wireless infrastructure deployment. Once those towers are in operation, sensible changes to modernize regulations regarding the maintenance of those towers are essential to enabling wireless tower owners to keep pace with consumer demand and continue the economic growth made possible through the expanding mobile ecosystem.”

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