FCC Releases E911 Z-Axis R&O and Order on Reconsideration

On July 20, 2020, the Commission released the Sixth Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration (“Report and Order” and “Order on Reconsideration”), which was adopted in the July Open Meeting and furthers the Commission’s efforts to improve vertical, or z-axis, location accuracy for wireless 911 calls (PS Docket No. 07-114).


The adopted item incorporates the following relevant changes from the circulated draft version:

  • The Commission notes its expectation that device manufacturers will cooperate and work in good faith with CMRS providers to expedite these efforts, and believes that the adopted rules will enable CMRS providers to negotiate with third parties and establish contractual timelines to enable the timely deployment of z-axis solutions, but refrains from taking regulatory action to require device manufacturers to cooperate, as requested by Verizon and AT&T. The Commission reiterates that it will monitor the rollout of z-axis capable devices and will take appropriate action against parties who obstruct the effective deployment of these technologies (¶ 43).
  • In response to concerns raised about risks to consumer privacy, the Commission states that providers should fully disclose and explain privacy protections so that consumers can make fully informed decisions where their consent is required (¶ 58).
  • The Commission clarifies that it amends Section 9.10(k) to reference paragraph (j)(4) to ensure that CMRS providers supply confidence and uncertainty data for dispatchable location and floor level information upon request from a PSAP and that they retain this information for a period of two years (¶ 62).
  • The Commission adds that it directs the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to evaluate the state of vertical location technology in July 2022 and to report to the Commission the results of that evaluation (¶ 71).


The amendments adopted in the Report and Order will become effective 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register except for those that contain new or modified information collection requirements and are subject to OMB approval. Please let us know if you have any questions or would like further information


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