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Verizon moves toward 911 texting

“Our company is continuing its long-standing commitment to address the needs of public safety and our customers by offering another way to get help in an emergency by using wireless technology,” she said.

FCC spokesperson Tammy Sun said Genachowski "commended the company for offering consumers another way to reach 911 that is consistent with how millions of consumers already use mobile devices in their daily lives."

The FCC recently began an inquiry to gather data on potential uses and advantages of "next-generation" 911 services that could make use of video and text in addition to standard phone calls.

Verizon hopes to deploy the text-to-911 service during the early part of next year in select areas using its existing mobile network. It will be available to anyone with a text-messaging-capable phone.