911 systems old and outdated: What needs to change?

911 systems old and outdated: What needs to change?

DALLAS - 911 is the lifeline that connects citizens needing helping with police and fire departments. Most people use their cell phone to call for help. 

Because it's such an important tool, you would think the equipment and software would be up to date, but unfortunately, that's not the case.

"911 was created in 1970 as an unfunded mandate from the FCC,” said Paul Rauner.

Paul Rauner created a company called Sirens GPS which has 911 app.

When the FCC created the 911 system there was only one telecommunications company. Now there are dozens, but there is no federal money to update or repair 911 systems.

It works similar to the way the ride sharing app, Uber does in that it let's first responders know where a call is coming from by dropping a pin showing exactly where you are and how many times you have called.

Rauner says big cell phone carriers are not doing enough to upgrade their software to prevent 911 outages and issues.

“We don't really have oversight that help them manage that," he said.

The FCC is investigating AT&T after customers were unable to use 911 for 4 hours Wednesday night, but Dallas police say they’ve been having problems with T-Mobile calls jamming up their system for months and forcing callers to be placed on hold.

"Those carriers are able to get all sorts of fees through the FCC now it's time for the FCC to demand accountability,” said Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston.

T-Mobile has been fined millions of dollars in the past for 911 problems but continues to have issues in Dallas and Denver.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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