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911 Association Says Lobbyist Behind Anti-Russian Tactic to Derail GLONASS

© Sputnik / Alexandr Kryazhev / Go to the mediabankA model of the GLONASS-K satellite
A model of the GLONASS-K satellite - Sputnik International
The director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association claims that a US lobbyist is behind a campaign to derail a proposal to use Russian satellites to help first responders locate 911 calls from cell phones more accurately.


WASHINGTON, January 24 (Sputnik) — US lobbyist is behind a campaign to derail a proposal being considered by the US government’s main communications agency to use Russian satellites to help first responders more accurately locate 911 calls from cell phones, the director of government affairs for the National Emergency Number Association Trey Forgety told Sputnik.

“This retired admiral has gone to the Department of Defense and told them they need to push back against the evil Russian system when really it comes down to corporate greed,” Forgety said, whose association represents nearly 6,000 emergency 911 call centers.

Under the US Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposal, Russia’s GLONASS satellite system would be added to the US satellite GPS system to double the coverage of satellites, thereby increasing the probability and accuracy of finding someone making a 911 call.

A GLONASS [Global Navigation Satellite System] satellite mock-up on display at the exhibition Space -- Elections -- Telecommunications - Sputnik International
Congressman’s Office Claims That Relying on GLONASS Jeopardizes US Lives
According to Forgety, True Position, a company that uses antiquated technology to locate 911 callers, created the Find Me 911 Coalition. The coalition is headed by Retired Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, who is also an attorney.

The Find Me 911 Coalition website describes its mission as seeking to ensure that the FCC establish a “reasonable, measurable level of location accuracy for emergency calls made indoors, enabling first responders to locate emergency calls from wireless phones from all locations rapidly and efficiently.”

The coalition’s website also confirms True Position provided initial funding for the operation.

The coalition and Barnett did not respond to Sputnik email requests to comment.

“If you look at where the sudden outpouring of concern it all ties back to one company that has a legacy location technology that they want to salvage to keep the company alive. True Position is doing everything they can to prevent these other improvements in location accuracy from coming into American policy, including leveraging their attorney’s [Barnett] contacts at the Department of Defense,” Forgety explained.

Those opposed to the FCC proposal argue Russia will gain control over 911 call handling and know where first responders and citizens are located. But Forgety said those concerns are “not technically possible.”

The GLONASS project, which was launched in 1993, is considered to be Russia's answer to GPS (Global Positioning System). The GLONASS network currently consists of 29 satellites, including 24 operational, allowing real-time positioning and speed data for surface, sea and airborne objects around the globe.


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