911: regulator seeks public input into ways to improve emergency phone service

OTTAWA – The CRTC is asking Canadians for ideas on how to improve the 911 emergency service in light of changing technology.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission said Monday it will review the findings of the public consultation by the end of next May.

“Each year, the 911 system is relied upon by thousands of Canadians during emergency situations,” commissioner Tim Denton said in a news release.

The CRTC says Denton will conduct research on 911 services in light of the telecommunications system’s evolution to next-generation networks based on Internet Protocol.

“As telecommunications networks evolve and adopt new technologies, we all have an interest in ensuring that the system continues to meet Canadians’ needs,” Denton said as he called for public input.

“In particular, I would encourage first responders, call centre operators and governmental bodies to share their ideas on how the 911 system could help them better respond to emergency situations.”

The consultation is being done ahead of a formal CRTC review in 2014-2015.