Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Working in Ottawa today --Why 911 and not 999

Good morning folks,
I will be working in Ottawa today.
The weather today --Looking out the plane's window, it looks overcast.
Question of the week: Why 911
A good question, why not 111, 211, 311, 222, 999 whatever?
The answer of course is no particular reason.
According to the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), in 1967 (Canada's Centennial year -an interesting point but unrelated to this missive) the U.S.. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) met with AT&T to discuss and establish a national emergency number.
It needed to be easy to remember.
It should not start with a 1 since that was the designated toll prefix.
AT&T's preference was that it be an N11 service since they already supported 411 and 611 as special service dial codes.
The digit 9 corresponds to XYZ which combined with the letterless digit 1 spells just about nothing at all, combined with the 'high-pull' nature of the 9 was not readily in use by business minded folks for any premium service and no telco voiced any real objection to the AT&T suggestion other then concerns on who would pay for the implementation and operation.
Have a safe day.
Sent from my BlackBerry handheld