CRTC looking for the public’s insight into future of 911 services in Canada

Ian Hardy

December 17, 2012 4:26 pm


Occasionally a stat emerges that reveals the trials and tribulations of our 911 operators have it. Pocket dialling has been the cause of many distractions and has potentially stood in the way of actually saving somebody in need. Over the years we’ve seen the service and response times improve – mostly thanks to the GPS within smartphones.

Today, in a press release, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced that they are looking for feedback from the public on how the 911 services could be improved. They’ve tapped Tim Denton to be the Inquiry Office and he’ll be compiling a report to show the CRTC end of May 2013, but the formal review will be sometime in 2014-2015. So no changes anytime soon. The release also noted that “Mr. Denton will conduct research on 911 services in light of the telecommunications system’s ongoing evolution to next-generation networks based on Internet Protocol.”

There’s 3 main topics that are a the centre point of the public consultation:

- The performance and adequacy of the technology currently employed by 911 services, such as that used to locate a caller using a cellphone
- the issues related to the provision of 911 services on next-generation networks, including how systems should be designed and the appropriate institutional arrangements, and
- policy considerations on 911 matters.

Get involved here at the CRTC
Via: CNW

  • Tom

    How about making 911 requirements for VoIP services reasonable.

    Sometimes I think the incumbent carriers push 911 requirements at the CRTC in order to thwart competition by VoIP services such as Skype.

  • Me

    Tom, you beat me to it. I’ve always wanted a Canadian Skype number but due to the 911 requirements we won’t be getting such a number anytime soon.

  • Terry

    I have to agree with Tom. I want VoIP to (Google Voice, Skype) to not require 911 services.

  • mike

    I’d like to see text messaging being implemented to 911 services.

  • Sam

    CRTC is the biggest paper lion in this country. They’re they i****s that came up with a new law to stop your tv from being raised by 50 decibels (or so) by the broadcasters. The broadcasters ignore it, I email the crtc and these useles tits tell me to complain to the broadcasters. Kind of like the police telling me to complain to the bank robber if see him/her robbing someone and I call. CRTC= Most useless waste of tax dollars we have. They DO nothing for us. NOTHING.

    • Sam

      What I meant btw is, volume being raised during commercials by broadcasters.

    • Jim R

      Using the words “useless” and “tits” in a sentence, without the word “bull”, renders your argument invalid. Sorry.

    • Justin

      Yes, things just dont seem to be getting done, or seriously looked at or into…
      Even take the whole 3-yr cell contracts in canada…after consumers complaining about them and forced to lock into 3-yr contracts instead of the once upon a time 2-yr contracts that existed, still nothing being done about it!

  • Morgan Freeman Lookalike

    Today at lunch I took a bite out of my sandwich and there was a cell phone in it!

    I cleaned off the lettuce and mayo, excited to see what was hiding between the bread!

    It was my old Motorola Milestone. I thought I lost it a few years ago. Crazy how things work out :)

  • Rod

    I like how the CRTC is finally looking into the 911 issues with cell phones.

    I’m an RCMP member and on a typical shift (half day) my detachment deals with about ten to twenty 911 hangup calls. That’s about 30% of our call volume. Each 911 call has to be treated as a high priority, however most people don’t answer the phones, can only text with their phone or refuse to cooperate with the police. This causes for many wasted resources.

    What people may not know and what I think needs to change about calling 911 is:
    1) we don’t always get your GPS, and if we do, it is hardly accurate
    2) Sometimes GPS has to be provided through the cell phone provider and they are not always cooperative. In my experience, Telus has been the best to work with. If you use any other provider other than the big 3. Good luck to you.
    3) Phone software needs to be adjusted. Blackberry’s are too easy to accidentally scroll to emergency call when the phone is password protected.
    4) I wish service providers were required to request that their customers complete their basic information and emergency contact information which could be provided to the police when someone calls 911. And failure to do so would mean that the police do not have to followup with your 911 hangup call.
    5) If you have a pay as you go plan or a phone not registered to a carrier, it can make emergency calls. However it does not provide any information to the police.

    I think that is it for now. This topic kinda touched a big nerve, however every police officer has been feeling this pain of 911 hangups. California has passed a law which the user gets fined for these calls.

  • Rod

    Forgot one more thing.

    I politely request that people stop calling 911 for non-emergencies. You risk tying up the system for actual emergencies.

    911 is for crimes in progress, rescues, medical emergencies.

    (I know because one night a drunk woman repeatedly called 911 for no reason and a person that had been stabbed had been delayed an ambulance for 10 minutes)

  • Sssssss

    Ian, can you please proof read your article for once?

  • Bruce, 9-1-1 Operator

    There should be a fine for pocket dials to 9-1-1. The carelessness of these people blocking a LIFE AND DEATH EMERGENCY line is beyond belief because they do not care. Also people have died because of VOIP. You dial 9-1-1 and you go to a central operator who could be 1,000 miles away, they are not trained in phone negotiations,they do not know what to listen for nor do they know what to say. Yes it is cheaper than landlines but you get what you pay for and it could be tragedy.

    • Legendary

      The whole problem with pocket dialing is that it is done without realizing.

      Fining someone for something that they didn’t realize happened and realistically couldn’t have prevented themselves is just a shitty thing to do.

  • Shawn

    Do the same thing they do when there is a false alarm from a land line. One accidental false alarm every 3 years with no charge. Any false alarm after that is fine.

    Also, being able to contact 911 via text, voip, Skype, and through an app for emergencies and non emergencies would be nice.

  • DJ

    Sssssss:

    Would you please proofread your posts before posting? Proofread is one word, not two.

    Thanks.

  • screamer

    We don’t pay 911 fee or pay for incoming calls. How do you know whos calling you? Same for text! Sign for a contract I understand even when 3 years are to long. My sister just signed a student plan for her daughter in Germany ans she pays 10 € for 50 min and 50 text but unlimited data. That is a awesome deal! Plus a LG L 5

  • Mike

    911 calling should be billed to your cellphone bill. A $500 fee on your next monthly Bill, but if you can send in a Police report or Ambulance, Fire report saying it was an actual Emergency, your carrier takes it off your Bill. This way people who pocket dial will get huge cellphone bills every month for wasting Emergency services, and if it happens more than 3 times per month, you are placed in jail for a week. This would teach people a lesson.

  • corby

    Legendary. You are so typical of today’s society. You don`t want to take responsibility for any of your own actions. Do you think the phone magically dialed 911 all on its own? No, YOU put the phone in your pocket. If that’s what is causing the problem, then YOU should change it.
    Mike. I couldn`t agree more. I hear dozens of bogus 911 calls on night shift working in security. I have long thought fines should be in place for unnecessary calls.