Wireless 911 services improved: CRTC
The wireless industry has improved 911 services in the past year, allowing emergency responders to better pinpoint the locations of calls, according to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).
The CRTC had set Monday as the deadline for the wireless industry to upgrade its 911 services.
"Canada is now one of the few countries where 911 operators automatically receive location information from the moment a call is placed from a cellphone," CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein said in a release.
"Thanks to the collective efforts of everyone involved, the safety of Canadians will be greatly improved during emergency situations that require quick action."
To identify the location of a caller, once a call comes in 911 operators use the global positioning system (GPS) along with triangulation technology. Operators can now identify a caller's location within a radius of 10 to 300 metres — versus a previous radius of up to 20 kilometres in rural areas.
If cellphone users do not have any pre-paid minutes or a service plan, they are still able to dial 911 in an emergency situation. However, the enhanced 911 services will not apply.
The CRTC says that 121 call centres across Canada now possess the new wireless-location technology. Nine remaining call centres should be up and running within the next few weeks, according to the CRTC.