(WSPA) — AT&T launched a new 911 location service Tuesday intended to improve emergency response for the public.
The company says 68% of adults don’t have a landline in their homes, and over 80% of 911 calls now come from mobile phones.
Typically when a call is placed to 911, the wireless phone is routed based on the closest cell tower, which can cover up to a 10-mile radius. This means that sometimes callers are transferred from one dispatch center to another when seeking help, causing delays when an emergency response is needed.
This new 911 location service will use the “Located Before Route” feature, which connects AT&T cellphone users to the closest dispatch center. The new service allows AT&T to track the location of a device within 50 meters of its location.
With the new service, the system will be able to quickly identify the location of the cellphone user and deliver it to the correct call center.
The nationwide rollout has started and is available in the following places:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
AT&T said the nationwide service should be available for all customers across the country by the end of June.