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FCC details plans to bring texting, photos and video to 911 service

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The FCC started talking about its intention to allow for 911 texting (and even photos and videos) last year, and now Chairman Julius Genachowski is out with a detailed plan for a "next generation" 911 service. The standout feature of it is just that -- the ability to send a text, photo or video in the event of an emergency -- but that also brings with it a complete overhaul of the backend of the service, and a switch to an IP-based architecture from the current circuit-switched system. That, the FCC says, should provide more flexibility and resiliency, and the agency has a number of other improvements in mind as well, including increased accessibility for people with disabilities, and new measures to improve the accuracy of location gathering (including new rules for wireless carriers). Of course, it all still is just a plan at the moment, but the FCC says it will consider a move to accelerate adoption of the plan next month.

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