The question of the day is: What is Enhanced 911 Phase Two?
As many of you are aware, Rogers customers pay a monthly System Access Fee of $6.95 and Fido customers do not and that really begs the question of why Rogers customers have to, but that’s for another day.
- BC/AB/MB/ON/QC/NF: $0.50/month
- SK: $0.88/month
- PEI: $1.00/month
- NS: $0.93/month
- NB: $1.03/month
For the sake of this article, we are going to completely avoid why different provinces pay different rates and just accept the fact that that is what we pay.
Enhanced 911 – Phase 1
When a Rogers/Fido customer pays this monthly 911 fee, that customer/mobile device is able to connect to emergency 911 and the 911 operator is provided with your wireless phone number and the location of the cellular tower that is handling the phone call.
Essentially this helps emergency services to respond quickly and efficiently. You are also not billed at all for your minutes used while connected to emergency 911.
Over the last few months, Rogers/Fido have been working to get Phase Two of Enhanced 911 and that is now live and working in the Vancouver/Whistler area.
Enhanced 911 – Phase 2 (The current service)
Phase 2 is similar to Phase 1 in that when you call emergency 911, your wireless number and location is provided to the 911 operator. However, in Phase 2 your approximate location by way of your geographic coordinates are provided to the 911 operator.
The geographic coordinates provide far more effective reporting of your location than using the cellular tower in Phase 1. So it is easy to see how this is much more effective when and if you require emergency services.
This function is provided to any customer registered to the Rogers/Fido network and connected to the network using Rogers/Fido devices throughout Canada. This means that gray-market devices (iPhone 2G) do not get this support. The mobile device has to have an official Rogers/Fido IMEI number in order to be supported.
As mentioned earlier, Phase 2 is now available in the Vancouver Area including Whistler. The service is also being rolled out to other Canadian cities over the next year.
The Reason For The Upgrade
Now as far as I can tell, there will be no increased cost to the customer for this upgrade, but I can confidently say that this upgrade was not free to Rogers/Fido. If you check out the release, you will see the reason why Rogers/Fido are even doing this.
The CRTC has mandated that all wireless carriers in Canada upgrade their emergency 911 services to be compliant with Phase 2 by February 2010 in all areas that Phase 1 is currently working. As such, Rogers/Fido have made it their goal to have all major centers covered in Enhanced 911 Phase 2 by the end of 2009.
How Will You Know If You Have E911-Phase 2?
Rogers/Fido are using the following methods to ensure their customers are aware of the new change to Enhanced 911 Phase 2:
- Existing customers will see a notice on their monthly statements about Phase 1 and Phase 2
- New customers will receive a message on their first bill statement with details of Phase 2
- Existing customers will receive a text message with instructions to visit Rogers.com or Fido.ca for details
- New customers will receive a welcoming text message with details of the prepaid service and instructions to visit Rogers.com or Fido.ca for details