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'Next Generation 911' Allows Text, Video

Federal Communications Commission announced Tuesday that it will be taking steps to move the 911 emergency service 'into the 21st century' by allowing text messages and video calls to be made.

"Today's 911 system [launched in 1968] doesn't support the communication tools of tomorrow," FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said. "We primarily use our phones to text, [but] right now, you can't text 911. It's time [for] the digital age."

The FCC added that a majority of 911 calls, up to 70%, are made on cellular phones;however, many situations such as a home invasion make it difficult for someone to make a voice call safely.

The newly proposed 911 system would allow call centers to receive text, photo and video messaging to give police officers the most amount of information possible about the situation in progress. The FCC would also like to implement automatic reports coming from medical devices, car electronics, security devices and more.

Genachowski admits that many call centers today aren't very well equipped mentioning that some don't even have broadband. Without any further delay, the FCC plans to implement a program in December to receive the public's input on the changes to the emergency service.