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NENA Welcomes Nomination of Tom Wheeler as FCC Chairman

Wednesday, May 1, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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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.”