The 911 System
The Federal Communications Commission estimates that more than 70 percent of 240 million annual 911 calls come from cellphones and 60 percent of those callers could not be accurately located. Because the existing 911 system, built by AT&T in the 1960s, has worked so well for landline calls, there was little impetus for change. But one report prepared for the F.C.C. estimated that 10,000 lives could be saved by improved technology.
Being able to text 911 for help seems like a really obvious, and necessary, thing. And yet, we can’t even do that.