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CRTC looking at how technology can be used to contact 911

Oct. 10, 2013, Gatineau, Que. – The CRTC is asking Canadians about the use of text messaging and social media to contact 911 emergency services.

October 10, 2013
By The Canadian Press

Oct. 10, 2013, Gatineau, Que. – The CRTC is asking Canadians about the use of text messaging and social media to contact 911 emergency services.

The federal regulator wants to hear from consumers, technology experts and emergency responders about how the technologies they use in their daily lives could be incorporated into 911 service.

But the CRTC says it will take a number of years before Canadians can ask for emergency help from police, fire or paramedics using all the different ways they communicate on their mobile phones, laptops and tablets.

In its report on 911 services, the CRTC says all of these new technologies can't be turned on with the flick of a switch across the country.

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission notes it still can be a problem for 911 call centres to accurately locate cellphone callers.

However, the CRTC has already asked that those who are hearing and speech impaired be able to send text messages to 911 call centres and that service will  start to roll out in January.