The Federal Communications Commission released a five-step plan Wednesday that will deploy enhanced 911 features for the new generation of emergency response systems.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said,  “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 shift to NG911 can’t be about if, but about when and how.

Genachowski outlined a plan that, when deployed, will allow emergency responders to receive voice calls, photos, videos and text messages that provides automatic location information to decrease the response time.

FCC’s five-step plan includes:

  1. Developing location accuracy mechanisms for NG911,
  2. Enabling consumers to send text, photos, and videos to PSAPs,
  3. Facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards,
  4. Develop a NG911 governance framework and
  5. Develop an NG911 funding model



Genachowski determined the immediate need for such a plan after the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, when so many of the students in danger of mortal injury were unable to text 911 during the tragic event.

The FCC and Congress will work together to develop possible fund options for the next-generation network.

Thanks to Mashable for the tip.

Related Links: (The Hill) (FCC)

Photo by flickr user Dawn Endico, used under Creative Commons license