Some cellphone calls to 911 are notoriously hard to trace. But now we’re one step closer to a fix.

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Today, federal standards help 911 call centers find victims within minutes if they're calling from outdoors or from a landline. In most cases, help arrives on the scene with no complications at all. But for people calling 911 on a cellphone indoors, it's often a different story.

Being inside thwarts GPS signals used by cellphones and dispatchers to locate people in an emergency. For this reason, the Federal Communications Commission has announced a breakthrough in developing a plan that everyone can get behind.

Consisting of four guidelines, the roadmap puts the country "on track" to improving location accuracy for wireless 911 calls, which account for 70 percent of all calls to 911, according to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Key to the guidelines is a requirement that wireless carriers provide 911 dispatchers with the exact floor and room of a caller.


Some cellphone calls to 911 are notoriously hard to trace. But now we’re one step closer to a fix.