US network operators who can't locate their customers in the case of an emergency are facing fines of over $2m, having already been given 18-months grace to comply. The Federal Communications Commission is proposing to fine Sprint Nextel, Alltel and United States Cellular, for failing to provide exact locations of customers …
A fine would just end up as a new customer fee
There is no point in fining the companies. They'll just start charging a new fee called "Expanded E911 Service Fee" to all of their customers to pay for it.
If people under contract to the named companies can use the lack of E911 capability to break free, citing safety, security, and (if all else fails) "for the good of the children"
re: I Wonder
Security is probably a better one than the "for the children" argument these days. After all most kids here are so fat they are probably easily identifiable via satellite imagery, so the 911 argument doesn't hold much water (as opposed to the kids themselves).
Terrorism never goes out of fashion though, and it's vital we know the location of anyone calling emergency services to let them know they've seen two ethnic-looking chaps talking to each other. Just insert GPS tracking in every cell phone, a bit of wireless tapping tech and you're done.
What about the wiretap network
What about the wiretap network that Sprint runs for the
FBI surely it can find whoever wherever whenever so they
are already doing it they just need to cough up the data to
someone who might help not just send you to gitmo.
E911(re: re: Wonder)
The FCC mandated from 2005 tracking down to 100 meters, AFAIK phone manufacturers put GPS in all USA phones
Are you sure that shouldn't read 'NSA to fine network operators who can't find customers?'
Oh yeah, I'm not surprised by US Cellular and Alltel not being able to locate 95% of customers.. they both still have areas that are analog-only! (Note, it is mostly very rural areas, but still.) People in those areas either tend to have analog bag phones, or a "tri-band" phone (I don't know why it's called tri-*band* since it uses 2 bands, but these support CDMA 850, CDMA 1900, and AMPS 850 in areas that are still analog-only.) The FCC is allowing providers to shut down analog by early 2008, and these companies have not even finished putting CDMA up throughout their networks yet, let alone GPS etc. They apparently are both now at 95+%, but just didn't get there by the 2005 deadline.
As for Sprint-Nextel.. well, apparently, Nextel rolled out a bunch of phones with GPS, which it turned out needed a software update to work for E911 purposes. The phones last forever, and Motorola iDen phones (what Nextel uses) are not fancy, so people haven't upgraded, or brought the phones into the store for the software update. Well, they have, but not enough, since Sprint-Nextel is apparently now only at 94.7%.
Sometimes it is necessary...
It turns out that a homeless guy (or that is what the local media is calling him) is using an old phone that has no service to make false (or worse misleading) calls to the local 911 service. He says he is in San Francisco, but the local cell site he trips up is in Vallejo (both in California) which is about a 1 hour drive away by freeway (uk: Motorway, de: Autobahn, it: Autostrada, etc..). It is giving the 911 operators fits as they can't trace him. According to the news reports he makes gobs (1000/month is what I remember) and they need locator service on this thing. So far they have traced the "used" phone (it has no service) to some homeless advocacy group that collects older phones and gives them away for 911 service which works even on unsubscribed phones.
I also note that the local media indicates that 911 traffic is WAY up year over year as more people are using cell phones to report things. Traffic stuff seems to be the worst as many people report the same thing.
Re:Sometimes it is necessary...
So one tramp making a nuisance of himself is a valid reason for tracking everyone else ?
I know you dont mean that :)