Cases & Deals

NextNav champions new FCC regulations improving public safety

Clients NextNav LLC

Jones Day is representing NextNav, LLC, which is developing a nationwide overlay wireless network that can provide highly accurate indoor location information for wireless handsets.

An increasing number of people are using wireless phones as their only communications technology, abandoning traditional "wired" telephone networks. Unfortunately, when wireless phones are used to call 911 for emergency assistance, the information that is automatically provided to emergency dispatchers about the location of the wireless phone is often highly inaccurate, particularly when the caller is in an indoor location where current technologies such as GPS cannot reliably reach.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules requiring wireless carriers to implement technology that could identify the locations of wireless phones in indoor locations and provide this information to emergency dispatchers. The wireless carriers strongly resisted the adoption of these rules, arguing that the FCC should wait until even better location technology becomes available in five to ten years.

Under the FCC's new rules, NetNav's technology will be one of the technologies that wireless carriers are likely to consider to achieve compliance. To convince the FCC to move forward with its proposed rules, NetNav prepared pleadings and held meetings with FCC officials to emphasize the pressing public safety need for the adoption of such rules and explaining that NextNav's location technology is sufficiently mature for near term use by wireless carriers. NetNav also met with numerous public safety organizations to encourage them to participate in the FCC's rulemaking proceeding to advocate for the adoption of the FCC's new rules.