Please attribute the following to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer:
“The FCC’s action today to take further comment on text-to-911 is an important first step towards addressing how public safety obligations will be melded into new and emerging communications technologies. These new services are replacing the POTS services consumers have used for the last century. As this transition continues, the Commission must establish a framework that ensures that consumers can continue to reach emergency services when necessary. Suggestions that the FCC can achieve that goal by imposing public safety obligations only on legacy network technologies or services ignore the reality of the breadth by which consumers are adopting these new technologies.
“Simplicity and common sense should be the guiding lights of this framework. When a child uses a messaging icon on their smartphone in an emergency, parents want that child to reach 911 no matter what service or technology is associated with that icon. Too much is at stake. Any public safety solution that does not encompass all texting services will result in potentially deadly customer confusion.
“We appreciate the Commission’s willingness to attack this challenge in a comprehensive manner. We look forward to continuing to work with the Commission, the public safety community and the disability community, to ensure that, as we transition to the next generation of communications, the ability to reach public safety will remain at the forefront of our policies.”