New FCC proposal would have a major impact on location accuracy

After a study showed that there was a high degree of variability in wireless location accuracy as users moved from geography to geography, the FCC has proposed that accuracy standards be tightened to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP - of which there are over 6000 in the US) level, instead of today which has generally been at a state level.  This will have a major impact on how many carriers design their network and deploy their location infrastructure, since up to now they've been able to essentially hide areas with poor accuracy by averaging those readings with higher accuracy ones such as from dense urban areas.

The good news for LBS is that it will make accuracy levels much more predictable (and hopefully better).  The FCC also submitted for comment (not a recommendation at this point) some other proposals, notably having a single, technology neutral location accuracy requirement for both network-based and handset-based technologies, and that providers of interconnected VoIP services that can be used at more than one location must meet the same accuracy standards as do commercial mobile radio services. 

They also said there were two other areas that their engineers are going to look at: (1) methods for carriers to improve in-building location accuracy; and (2) the use of hybrid technology solutions to increase location accuracy and address shortcomings of current technologies.  The Commission noted its intent to examine and publicly report on both issues as quickly and efficiently as possible, so as not to unduly delay the issuance of a final order.  These guys have been busy!  For more info, visit LBS Globe.