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CRTC to ensure telecommunications networks can support next-generation 9-1-1 services

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SOURCE Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission

GATINEAU, QC, June 25, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced the steps it will take to enhance Canadians' access to existing 9-1-1 services and facilitate the transition to next-generation 9-1-1 services.

The action plan published today was established further to a consultation in which Canadians were asked to identify and prioritize the matters within the CRTC's jurisdiction that should be addressed regarding 9-1-1 services. The CRTC regulates the telecommunications service providers that carry calls to 9-1-1 call centres, while emergency responders and call centres are under the jurisdiction of municipalities, provinces and territories.

During the recent consultation, some participants suggested that a national forum could be established to promote better coordination between the different partners in the provision of 9-1-1 services. As the 9-1-1 system is a shared responsibility, collaboration between all parties involved would be very helpful to not only improve the current system, but prepare it for next-generation 9-1-1 and new technologies.

The CRTC would be prepared to participate in such a forum and share its expertise in the areas under its jurisdiction.

In the meantime, the CRTC will review the regulatory framework for next-generation 9-1-1 and will launch a proceeding in early 2016 to ensure telecommunications service providers' networks can support new technologies when 9-1-1 call centres have the capabilities to use them.

The CRTC will also address certain priorities related to the existing 9-1-1 system. These include improving caller location information, reviewing the reliability and resiliency of 9-1-1 networks and supporting efforts to prevent accidental 9-1-1 calls.

Finally, in order to assist the CRTC in making decisions on various 9-1-1 matters, telecommunications service providers will be required to provide relevant data whenever necessary.

Through this action plan, the CRTC is ensuring that Canadian telecommunications networks are evolving at an appropriate pace to support Canadians' needs for effective access to 9-1-1 emergency services as part of a world-class communications system.

Quick Facts

  • The CRTC is creating a safer environment for Canadians by ensuring they have access to 9-1-1 services through a reliable and modern communication system.

  • The CRTC has issued an action plan to improve Canadians' access to current 9-1-1 services and prepare for a review of next-generation 9-1-1 services.

  • The CRTC's action plan is based on the comments received following the publication of a report on 9-1-1 services by a CRTC-appointed Inquiry Officer.

  • In recent years, the CRTC has taken steps to improve the 9-1-1 system in Canada. Examples include enhancements to telecommunications networks in order to permit the introduction of Text with 9-1-1 for hearing- and speech-impaired Canadians and the transmission of wireless location information.

  • Next-generation technologies are expected to improve how Canadians communicate with 9-1-1 call centres by enabling them to send text messages, pictures and videos, as well as interact with emergency operators through other means. The adoption of these technologies will occur gradually over the next few years.

Quote

"The health and safety of Canadians is improved through their communication system, in particular by ensuring they have effective access to 9-1-1 services. The action plan we have announced today will not only enhance access to existing services, but also ensure telecommunications networks are ready to support next-generation 9-1-1 services. This illustrates how we will continue to fulfill our mandate to ensure the communication system protects Canadians. As the governance for the 9-1-1 system is shared, we would also welcome greater coordination on 9-1-1 matters."

Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of CRTC

Associated Links
Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2014-342
CRTC to examine future of 9-1-1 services in Canada
A Report on Matters Related to Emergency 9-1-1
CRTC marks the start of Text with 9-1-1 services for hearing or speech impaired persons
9-1-1 Services for Traditional Wireline, VoIP and Wireless Phone Services

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