The Federal Communications Commission last week ordered that wireless carriers must meet the Enhanced 911, or E911, Phase II location accuracy requirements at the public safety answering point (PSAP) service-area level. They also must meet interim, annual benchmarks over the next five years to ensure that they achieve PSAP-level compliance no later than Sept. 11, 2012.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a statement that the benchmarks are designed to ensure that location-accuracy requirements keep pace with technology changes, so consumers can take advantage of the opportunities wireless technology has to offer.

The benchmarks are designed to build towards PSAP-level compliance. According to the order, carriers must meet the commission’s location-accuracy requirements within each economic area it serves by Sept. 11, 2008. They then must meet such requirements within each metropolitan statistical area and rural service area that the carrier serves—as well as 75% of PSAPs—by Sept. 11 2010.

The deadline for full compliance at the PSAP-level is Sept. 11, 2012. However, wireless carriers must account for only those PSAPs in their service areas that are capable of receiving E911, Phase II location data, according to the order.