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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:44 PM   #1
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FCC Proposal Would Require Apple to Support iMessage-to-911




The Federal Communications Commission today announced a proposal that would extend a previous agreement requiring wireless carriers to allow their users to send SMS messages to 911 call centers. The proposal would extend the requirement from simple SMS texting to "over-the-top" messaging services like Apple's iMessage.

The four major American carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, have already agreed to make the SMS-to-911 feature nationwide by May 15, 2014.

By adding support for "over-the-top" messaging services, the FCC believes it can help keep pace with how people use their phones as users turn more to text messages rather than phone calls. Additionally, the text-to-911 feature could assist deaf users, as well as those in home invasion or other situations where making a voice call could be dangerous.
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Today's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking anticipates that all wireless carriers, as well as providers of "over the top" text messaging that use IP-based or SMS protocols to deliver text messages to destinations identified by a telephone number, will be required to deploy text-to-911 and to provide "bounce back" messages where text-to-911 is not yet available. While more than 90 percent of smartphone users currently use SMS as their form of text messaging, we are taking forward-looking action given the growth of Internet-based text messaging. The Further Notice also tees up for resolution key issues including standards deployment and service deployment, location accuracy, cost recovery, carrier liability.
iMessage allows people to link their phone numbers with the service and it could be used to text 911 call centers, instead of using SMS messaging as a fallback. If 911 call centers don't support text-to-911 in a particular area, users would receive "bounce back" messages to advise them to call 911 via the traditional message.

As of now, this is just a proposal, not an official action, and that there is no set timetable from the FCC.

Article Link: FCC Proposal Would Require Apple to Support iMessage-to-911
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:49 PM   #2
Schmitty11
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Lets the complaints begin....
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:49 PM   #3
wordoflife
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This is a pretty good idea. I mean, after all, iMessage isn't an opt-in feature. I think it's automatically enabled by default.

The only interesting part if this will only be for iPhones ... or all iMessage devices
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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Lets the complaints begin....
Why would ANYONE complain about this?
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:53 PM   #5
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Why would ANYONE complain about this?
Oh, i think it's great, but this is macrumors. Someone is always unhappy about every story.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 10:58 PM   #6
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wordoflife View Post
This is a pretty good idea. I mean, after all, iMessage isn't an opt-in feature. I think it's automatically enabled by default.

The only interesting part if this will only be for iPhones ... or all iMessage devices
True. But this does seem to be an good idea.

Not sure what it would mean technically for apple.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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Hmm I wonde how they could implement this? Since it's only iOS to iOS or iOS to Mac. Guess they could add emergency services :P
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:50 PM   #9
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Am I missing something? An iMessage is an iMessage because it's between ios devices...
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:50 PM   #10
shurcooL
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Originally Posted by wikus View Post
Why would ANYONE complain about this?
If you're a criminal, you would be unhappy that people have more ways to reach 911.
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Old Dec 12, 2012, 11:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KdParker View Post
True. But this does seem to be an good idea.

Not sure what it would mean technically for apple.
Probably nothing. Until iMessage goes down and someone that wasn't able to contact 911 via text gets hurt. I wouldn't be surprised if there'd be some sort of an uproar because of that.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:14 AM   #12
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Probably nothing. Until iMessage goes down and someone that wasn't able to contact 911 via text gets hurt. I wouldn't be surprised if there'd be some sort of an uproar because of that.
or they could call them like a normal person...
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 12:28 AM   #13
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If there isn't an iMessage target it just sends a text message anyway. While I think it is great someone is actually forward thinking, I think in the case of iMessage it doesn't really make sense.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 01:44 AM   #14
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Question

leg cut off LOL ;D

other leg now!!! ROFL

C U soon?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 02:20 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by beingTommy View Post
Am I missing something? An iMessage is an iMessage because it's between ios devices...
iPads in the call centres
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:08 AM   #16
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If there isn't an iMessage target it just sends a text message anyway. While I think it is great someone is actually forward thinking, I think in the case of iMessage it doesn't really make sense.
You're right about that, but perhaps this requirement would prompt Apple to detect its a 9-1-1 txt and skip looking for an iMessage contact and send it straight along?

I know a few times I've iMessaged someone who's lost connectivity, it can be 30-90 seconds before the phone "figures it out" and routes as SMS. As the first responders always point out, seconds count, so it's a small step but helpful.

Somehow I get the feeling though that as carriers implement txt to 9-1-1, Apple would be right there anyhow. No reason not to.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:40 AM   #17
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wait this should be dead simple to implement. All you need is to link and iMessage device to whatever system 911 uses. In fact this is so simple that it could easily be turned in to a Google summer of code project! How about that novel ideal 911?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:48 AM   #18
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Remembering 911 only works in the USA... random thoughts:
- Would this start working overseas where 911 isn't the emergency number?
- Even if a slight hack is needed, wouldn't this open up 911 to masses of spam from pretty well anywhere around the globe? Meh they might be able to make it only work in the USA.
- It could be quite useful... phone network's down but the internet isn't. Potential life saver!!! BUT how would it work in international waters...etc? The technical side of things would be quite interesting!
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 04:59 AM   #19
sorinc03
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This will be so fun

It'll be amazing when it's released. Why in the world would anyone text 911?

"Omg I'm being killed. Pls help me. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 07:08 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by wikus View Post
Why would ANYONE complain about this?
Not a complaint per-se, but SMS isn't exactly the best way to get a distress signal out there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_M...#Unreliability). That coupled with some past iMessage service issues could pose a problem. I realise people drop calls and the like, but at least you know immediately as opposed to a text message which just zips off into the void.

Not so much a concern with having iMessage support specifically, but using text messages in general for 911 calls.

Last edited by Smigit; Dec 13, 2012 at 07:15 AM.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:23 AM   #21
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Not a complaint per-se, but SMS isn't exactly the best way to get a distress signal out there (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_M...#Unreliability). That coupled with some past iMessage service issues could pose a problem. I realise people drop calls and the like, but at least you know immediately as opposed to a text message which just zips off into the void.

Not so much a concern with having iMessage support specifically, but using text messages in general for 911 calls.
It's not a replacement for calls. It's an alternative.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:26 AM   #22
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911 should be accessible by all means of communication.
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 08:59 AM   #23
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Why would this be better than just sending it as an SMS message?

----------

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Originally Posted by Black.Infinity View Post
911 should be accessible by all means of communication.
So, I should be able to email 911, or send them a letter in the mail? Kind of defeats the purpose. What about morse code?
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:07 AM   #24
JtheLemur
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[ halp i r bein murdered send crops asap omg ]

[ *cops ]

[ 911: got ur msg cops otw ]

[ 911: hey running a lil late theyll c u soon tho ]
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Old Dec 13, 2012, 09:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by sorinc03 View Post
It'll be amazing when it's released. Why in the world would anyone text 911?

"Omg I'm being killed. Pls help me. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
It's the frown face that will let them know you're serious.
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