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Thursday, November 18, 2004

A helping hand reaches out
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Yesterday, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), which encourages use of the "911" emergency phone number, further intensified its outreach to industry and policymakers to help it promote public safety with respect to newer technologies, such as voice over the Internet. The initiative, which some major companies have already joined, describes itself as a "public-private partnership" and aims "to improve our nation's planning, leadership and innovation" in the delivery of 911 service. Although NENA's press release does not appear to foreclose regulatory mandates in this area, it does emphasize voluntary cooperation, a feature which will be critical in developing workable solutions to 911 and other issues related to the evolution of communications beyond "plain old telephone service" (e.g., network reliability, wiretapping for law enforcement). The announcement also merits praise for its acknowledgement that emerging technologies should be viewed less as problems and more as opportunities to provide consumers better service more reliably and cheaply. FCC Chairman Powell applauded the new initiative, urging other companies to participate.

posted by Kyle Dixon @ 10:12 AM | Communications

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