Sometimes, the avarice of certain corporations is staggering—and depressing—if not surprising.
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) put in place a new rule that would make it easier for emergency responders to locate wireless 9-1-1 callers, but the cell phone carriers are working on a closed-door deal with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), a public safety trade group, to delay this lifesaving rule.
Our 9-1-1 system has fallen behind the times, and many of us would be surprised to learn that when calling for help from a cell phone, location information is often unavailable or unreliable to the people who can help us. Dispatchers and first responders are being forced to spend precious time trying to find these callers who are in urgent need of care – time that could be the difference between life and death.
This is exactly the situation the FCC is trying to correct: the recent FCC ruling would phase-in technology standards over two years, so that wireless 9-1-1 callers can be located more accurately by emergency responders.
The FCC estimates this change could save as many as 10,000 lives per year. But cell phone carriers are resisting this effort and trying to change or slow down the rule, presumably to save a few bucks. Which is more important: saving money for cell phone carriers, or saving the lives of thousands of Americans?
To me, there really is only one answer. But does the FCC feel the same? Will it put the safety of tens of thousands of American citizens at risk so that the carriers can garner even more money for their coffers and shareholders?
To do so would be a betrayal of not only the American people, but American principles as well. The FCC must remain steadfast in its refusal to cater to the “needs” of these massive corporations.