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Emergency Texting Not Ready for Prime Time

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kq4ym
kq4ym  
6/29/2014 8:58:54 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: emergency bandwidth?
I keep an old landline phone handy in case at the home if I need to call 911. Even with no service connected you can always diall 911 with any phone. Fortunately, I've never had to call for an emergancy, but it's there just in case.

Alan Reiter
Alan Reiter  
6/21/2014 3:07:48 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Vulnerable Users
Hi CitySolver,

You brought up a few issues here. The first is that some people, especially seniors don't use or care about SMS. Frankly, most people -- including seniors -- should call the emergency number because it has advantages over texting, with real people at the other end.

I see SMS as a nice option, but probably not the preferred one, as I discuss in my article.

The problem, of sorts, might occur in the future when 911 (999?) systems can accept photos and videos. That could provide valuable supplementary information. But I assume that a greater proportion of seniors might not want to be "bothered" to send this information. That's especially where education is valuable.

However, it's important for seniors (and others, too) to realize that trying to take photos or videos of dangerous situations isn't advisable. Granted, that isn't available yet.

Another issue is free phones for seniors. There are some programs in the U.S. that offer feature phones and minutes to seniors.

CitySolver
CitySolver  
6/21/2014 11:25:05 AM
User Rank Blogger
Vulnerable Users
Yes, this is a key point. How do we keep older citizens in the loop with such important technologies. Can we delegate a number that the elderly use on the landline, after they preregister their details over the phone. Do we go as far as giving all elderly people a mobile phone in a drive to get citizens up to speed on vital services??

Alan Reiter
Alan Reiter  
6/20/2014 2:59:08 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: emergency bandwidth?
Hi Davedgreat2000,

911 should be free. No charge whatsoever. No hidden charges. There are plenty of public interest groups and if any cellular operator tries to slip in a fee, it will be caught and there will be a huge howl.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
6/20/2014 9:32:21 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: emergency bandwidth?
@Alan, I'm saying its going to be one of those hidden fees no one will notice. For example. you will see your phone bill go up by $0.05/month, most people will never notice something like that. They do it now.

But it should be free especially since its emergency services, but i feel the cell providers will always find a way to charge us and they will get away with it since its not called an Emergency services Fee...its just tacked on to your bill as a hidden fee

Alan Reiter
Alan Reiter  
6/19/2014 3:27:41 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: emergency bandwidth?
Hi Davegreat2000,

Cynical though I am, I can't see the government charging for 911, even most Republicans and Libertarians wouldn't be able to do that.

I can see the cellular operators trying to get subscribers to pay, although that's really politically difficult.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
6/19/2014 3:07:09 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: emergency bandwidth?
@ Alan, in my life since 911 first started i've used it 4 times, i'm 40 now.

 

Fees will always be added for any service. Maybe the goverment will start charging for it.

Alan Reiter
Alan Reiter  
6/19/2014 10:28:55 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Treats! Another carrier surcharge!
Hi Davedgreat2000,

Yes, the cellular operators add fees all the time. However, 911 is in a different category as an official emergency number that should be free to everyone.

Alan Reiter
Alan Reiter  
6/19/2014 10:26:30 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: emergency bandwidth?
Hi Davedgreat2000,

That sounds like a great 911 app. However, as you note, many people are not comfortable with the government obtaining their information. Still, many people might find it useful. It's wouldn't be used very often in any case.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
6/19/2014 9:08:30 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Treats! Another carrier surcharge!
@Alan, the cell providers will find a way to add a new fee...they do it all the time or they will just raise the price of service a few dollars a year. They will find a way. like Cable TV bills, they go up for no reason at all and when you look at the bill its just extra cash on the normal cable tv bill not a fee...Whats up with that?

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