New Phone Technology Causing Problems with 911

911 and Landlines Charles City, IA

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CHARLES CITY, IA – Julie Bock, Manager of Charles City Electronics, is seeing customers make a switch, and they’re choosing the new and improved landline.

“We do have quite a few people who are switching to it. It will save them quite a bit of money over a period of a month or year,” said Bock.

This new tech trend means your landline is switched over to a router or box.

“And your phone plugs into it, and then it doesn’t go into the jack anymore it goes into this box and then you can have either a corded phone or cordless phone on it and that will make it so you can make your calls,” said Bock.

But having your landline hooked up to the router, is making it difficult for some dispatchers, like those in Floyd county.

Kathy Herrick, an E-911 Administrator, says the old way was a lot simpler for her staff.

“When you convert it to a cell line it comes in as a different network to the dispatch center. If you would call in on a landline it comes through our landlines, to our database and when they answer the phone your name and address are there,” said Herrick.

So with the new landlines, if a caller calls 9-1-1 and can’t speak, then locating where that person is, can be harder.

“And you can’t speak we would have to use the cell tower location. it triangulates to determine a location. It is accurate within two or three houses if you’re in an urban area,” said Herrick.

But what Herrick really wants people to know is that times are changing when it comes to dialing 9-1-1 from home.

“The phone may still be on the wall, but it will plug into the router instead of to your landline phone,” said Herrick.

Herrick recommends people who have this new landline to do two things.

One is to tape a piece of paper to a wall near the phone or door that has your address listed.

In case of an emergency if a neighbor happens to find you, they’ll look at the paper and will know the address.

Secondly, she recommends placing the router or box near a window, so that it can pick up a stronger signal from a cell phone tower.

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