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CRTC pleased with improved wireless public safety services

Wireless service providers have helped Canada upgrade its 911 services

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has welcomed the improvement of 911 services across Canada, thanks to wireless service providers.

Emergency responders in most areas of Canada can now more accurately locate an individual during a 911 cellular call.

“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,” Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC said.

The improvements were made thanks to technology such as GPS and triangulation, which provides 911 operators with more precise information regarding a caller’s location.

Depending on the cellphone model and the type of reception, call centre operators can now generally figure out a caller’s location within a radius of 10 to 300 meters from where the call was made. Before this technology, call centre operators could only narrow down a location within the area of the closest cellphone tower to the caller. This could represent a radius of up to 20 kilometres in rural regions.

The new wireless-location technology has been tested and is currently in place in 121 call centres across Canada.