You may soon be able to have a new way to call for help thanks to the Federal Communications Commission.
The organization voted Friday to require all mobile service providers and messaging services (like iMessage and Google Hangouts) to make it possible for people to text 911.
Major carriers such as Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint activated this capability back in May, but the FCC requiring providers to enable 911 texts is one half of the equation. According to the National Journal it’s up to states and their counties to decide whether to be text-message compatible.
As it stands,122 counties in 18 states are ahead of the curve because their emergency call centers are already equipped to handle text-to-911 alerts. Among those are: New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Colorado, Iowa, Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia.
MUST READ: Why Call 911 When You Can Text Them?!
At face value this seems like a really wonderful idea. It provides a way for speech and hearing impaired people a way to get help, which might otherwise have been almost impossible. This is also a great option for people who need help during a home invasion when calling 911 could put victims in more danger.
On the other hand, the public will potentially abuse the functionality by flooding call centers will ridiculous alerts–like when people swamped 911 with calls about Facebook being down. Also, Pew Research finds that about 90 percent of people in the U.S. and most of that segment communicates via text. This could create an environment where call centers are so bogged down by 911 texts that they’re not able to help as many people.
If call centers can track the texts by GPS as people report incidents, the FCC ruling would rub right up against SketchFactor territory. Implications of this decision are largely speculations at this time as service providers have until the end of the year to become compliant.
Also On HelloBeautiful:
Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"