CSAC Bulletin Article

FCC Proposes Geo-Routing to Improve 988 Crisis Calls

March 28, 2024

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to fix how calls are routed through the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

Currently, calls to 988 are routed based on a caller’s area code rather than the geographic area they are calling in. As a result, some callers are connected to crisis centers in other counties or states. The NPRM calls for implementing a geo-routing system that requires carriers to route 988 calls based on a caller’s proximity to the nearest cell tower, rather than their area code. The proposal balances privacy concerns by not sharing the exact location of the caller with the crisis center. If the NPRM is adopted by the full Commission, the NPRM will open for public comment prior to the release of a final rule.

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