There are many wide-ranging effects of the increasing popularity of mobile devices. Businesses must deal with the BYOD trend, software companies are constantly churning out new applications, and device manufacturers taking each other to court to fight over patent infringement, there are many ramifications from our mobile world. One such consequence that most people might not consider is the imminent danger to the 911 infrastructure caused by “cord cutting.”
While the term cord cutting can sometimes be associated with people that have decided to opt out of cable TV and use other entertainment services, in this case it refers to individuals who have mobile phones only and no landline. This is significant for the future of 911 because the 911 programs in the United States are typically funded by charges on landline bills. Thus, as more people cut the cord, a source of emergency services revenue is cut off!
Another inherent danger is the potential loss of mobile services in the wake of a natural disaster. Quite frequently, there are mobile carrier outages during disasters, and these tend to occur more often than the loss of landline services. Taken together, these two trends can be quite troubling, as pointed out by Avaya’s Mark Fletcher in a recent blog post.
This mobility trend is especially pronounced in the enterprise space. More and more enterprises are cutting the cord and this will only exacerbate the problem. But, as Fletcher points out, this is not really a technology issue, but it is a political problem. The government needs to figure out a way to address the issue so that funding for 911 can continue. It’s the safety of the citizens at stake, so, before the trend goes too far past the tipping point, legislators need to take note.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli