On behalf of America’s 9-1-1 professionals, NENA applauds President Obama’s
nomination of Thomas Wheeler to become the next chairman of the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC).
"Based on years of experience of working closely with Tom
Wheeler, the 9-1-1 community knows he understands the importance of emergency
communications, and we are confident he will continue the Commission’s strong
push to improve existing 9-1-1 systems and bring Next Generation 9-1-1 to an
eager public,” said NENA CEO Brian Fontes.
Wheeler has a long and positive track record on issues
related to 9-1-1 and public safety:
As President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless
Association, he pushed the wireless industry to support legislation (which eventually
became law) designating 9-1-1 as the
national emergency number for wireless calls.
That effort paved the way for the approximately two-thirds of all 9-1-1
calls that now originate from wireless devices.
Wheeler also worked closely with the public
safety community and the wireless industry to achieve a consensus on standards
for wireless location accuracy for 9-1-1 calls. That effort, and the FCC rules that followed,
have saved countless lives by allowing public safety agencies to accurately
locate wireless users who call 9-1-1.
Wheeler also has been a champion of wireless
services and technologies designed to better serve individuals with
disabilities. In the earliest days of
mobile app development, his leadership and vision drew attention to
applications that can benefit individuals with disabilities by providing
greater access to telecommunication services.
"Over the years, Tom Wheeler has advocated for balanced public
policies that gave consumers easier-to-use, more powerful, and more accessible
emergency communications services,” said Fontes. "We look forward to
working with him, his fellow commissioners, and the FCC staff to advance
critical public safety issues like Next Generation 9-1-1.”