San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Handset-based solutions: These solutions require the deployment of new handsets. Some handset-based solutions also require the deployment of network-based technology to deliver the accuracy required by the FCC. Under the FCC's requirements, carriers that choose handset-only solutions or hybrid handset/network solutions must begin selling and activating Automatic Location Information (ALI)-capable handsets by Oct. 1, 2001. At least 25 percent of new handsets activated must be ALI-capable by Dec. 31, 2001. By June 30, 2002, the quota is 50 percent, and by Dec. 31, 2002, it's 100 percent. Three years later, by Dec. 31, 2005, 95 percent of handsets in the subscriber base must be ALI-capable.
Network-based solutions: When requested by public-safety agencies, carriers that opt for network-based solutions that don't require the use of ALI-capable handsets must make location service available to 50 percent of callers within six months. Few cash-strapped public safety organizations, however, have upgraded their equipment to accept location information. Among major cities, only Chicago has made a request.
The reality: With no penalties for noncompliance, the FCC's deadlines are de facto suggestions. Most carriers are unsure of handset or network-equipment availability.