The top four wireless carriers in the United States will make it possible by 2014 for people to text 911 when they are in trouble.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have agreed to speed up the availability of the text-to-911 service, the Federal Communications Commission says.
Large numbers of people will begin to have access to the emergency texting service in 2013, and nationwide access should be available by May 15, 2014, the FCC said in a release. Many text-to-911 trials and studies are already in progress. Officials hope the service will give people access to emergency help when a voice call isn't possible or would increase the danger to the person.
To help eliminate confusion as text-to-911 services are phased in, the wireless companies will provide automatic bounce back texts to notify consumers if their attempts to reach 911 are unsuccessful, the release said.
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