CRTC seeks public input on 911 emergency service

The CRTC is asking Canadians for ideas on how to improve the 911 emergency service in light of changing technology.

Commission looking to improve service by utilizing new technologies

Canada's telecom regulator is asking for the public’s input on how to improve the 911 emergency service in light of changing technology.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Monday it will review the findings of the public consultation which asks for Canadians' input in the following areas:

  • The performance and adequacy of the technology currently employed by 911 services, such as that used to locate a caller using a cellphone.
  • The issues related to the provision of 911 services on next-generation networks, including how systems should be designed and the appropriate institutional arrangements.
  • Policy considerations on 911 matters.

"Each year, the 911 system is relied upon by thousands of Canadians during emergency situations," national commissioner Tim Denton said in a news release. "As telecommunications networks evolve and adopt new technologies, we all have an interest in ensuring that the system continues to meet Canadians' needs."

The CRTC said Denton will conduct research on 911 services in light of the telecommunications system's evolution to next-generation networks based on Internet Protocol.

"In particular, I would encourage first responders, call centre operators and governmental bodies to share their ideas on how the 911 system could help them better respond to emergency situations," Denton said.

The commissioner's recommendations will be presented before May 2013 and consulted when the CRTC begins its formal review of the regulatory framework for Canada’s 911 system.

The formal consultation will be completed in 2014-15.

With files from CBC News