AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless and other wireless industry players are urging the DC Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the effectiveness of FCC rules that require mobile phone operators to implement Phase II enhanced 911 (E911) location accuracy rules by September 11. The wireless companies claim that the agency’s benchmarks are “technically infeasible” and that wireless carriers risk being “irreparably harmed by their inability to comply with these unlawful and infeasible requirements.” Verizon petitioned the court on Monday in union with Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and the Rural Cellular Association (RCA), while AT&T filed its appeal separately last Friday. Approved last September 11, the FCC’s order prescribes a series of milestones by which wireless Phase II E911 location accuracy must be measured at the public safety answering point level. The first of those milestones is September 11, 2008, the deadline by which carriers must achieve location accuracy on the economic area level. While asking the court to overturn the FCC’s order, AT&T told the court that a stay of the rules is warranted because the upcoming September 11 deadline “is impossible to meet” in view of the fact that it took five months for the agency’s ruling to appear in the Federal Register. (In addition to seeking a stay of the order, Verizon, TMobile, Sprint and RCA have also asked the court to overturn the FCC’s rules, and all five petitioners have also asked the FCC for a stay.) As AT&T asserted that the FCC adopted the milestones “with no evidence that they are feasible, [and] without confronting record evidence that they may lead to reduced wireless coverage and hence compromise public safety,” Verizon and the joint petitioners argued that the order “is legally deficient because the FCC disregarded the Administrative Procedure Act and imposed impossible requirements that have no support in the administrative record.” Accordingly, with the first milestone less than seven months away, the joint petitioners proclaimed: “it is critical that the court stay the effectiveness of the order to enable Movants to obtain judicial review before being irreparably harmed.”
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Wireless industry appeals, seeks stay of, E911 order
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