Citing "procedural irregularities," a federal appeals court has blocked the Federal Communication Commission's stricter rules for wireless 911 service from going into effect, reports Reuters.
In issuing a stay of the September 2007 order issued by the FCC, the court said the wireless carriers that brought the suit likely would succeed in their legal challenge. The court's stay prevents the order from going into effect while the carriers pursue an appeal. Those carriers include the Rural Cellular Association, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel.
The new standards are designed to improve emergency workers' ability to locate people who call 911 from a cell phone. The FCC argued that current standards are inadequate to help rescue workers find people who call from indoors or in rural areas, according to RCR Wireless News.
Under the new standards, statewide numbers would not be averaged, a practice that allows a carrier to be in compliance though service in some areas is poor. The new rules would require carriers to meet accuracy standards for smaller areas and meet a set of benchmarks over the next five years.