Next Generation 911 would allow dispatch centers to accept voice, text, data, photos, and video from callers.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a five step action plan to transition to Next Generation 911 during the annual meeting of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
The plan would chart the transition to the new service that would support voice, text, data, photos, and video, according to a press release.
The goal is to ensure that emergency response is a critical element of the broadband environment and will help address requirements, timelines, costs, and governance during the deployment of NG911 over the next five to ten years.
The new systems will continue to support the legacy 9-1-1 system on a transitional basis for as long as is necessary, accoridng to the release.
"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can’t send a text message to 911 in an emergency," he said in his announcement, according to Politico.
"The unfortunate truth is that the capability of our emergency response communications has not kept pace with commercial innovation -- has not kept pace with what ordinary people now do every day with communications devices."
The benefits of NG911 include:
* Increased public access
* Enhanced information for first responders
* Increased reliability of NG911 networks
FCC Five-Step Action Plan to Deploy Next Generation 9-1-1
1. Develop location accuracy mechanisms for NG-911
2. Enable consumers to send text, photos, and videos
3. Facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards
4. Develop a NG911 governance framework
5. Develop an NG911 Funding Model