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In the News

Text-to-9-1-1 coming to region

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CAPCOG expects cellphone users will be able to text 9-1-1 in case of an emergency by this October and perhaps earlier depending on when the wireless carriers enable this feature. Regional agencies in the ten-county region are partnering to roll out a text-to-9-1-1 educational outreach campaign as telecommunicators and cellphone network providers prepare to bring the emergency communications service to the region.

Because text-to-9-1-1 is rolled out by each cellphone network provider, the companies can activate the service at different times. To limit confusion, CAPCOG only will announce text-to-9-1-1’s availability in a community when the four major cellphone network providers have activated it. The COG has planned a phased approach to test text-to-9-1-1. Hays, Travis and Williamson counties will be in the first implementation group, which could have text-to-9-1-1 by August or September. Group 2 — Bastrop, Caldwell, Fayette and Lee counties — and Group 3 — Blanco, Burnet and Llano counties — will follow. Text-to-9-1-1 should be available by either September or October and October or November respectively.

Emergency telecommunicators will begin training to respond to text messages in May. While the services will be new, telecommunicators are already familiar with communicating to people using text based systems. The interface for responding to emergency text is nearly identical to the telecommunications teletype writer interface used to communicate with the hearing impaired.

> Read more about text-to-9-1-1.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Emergency Communications Division.

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