Opinion

Meet The Solyndra Of Emergency Response Technology

TruePosition’s technology is not commercially available, as it is only still in a prototype phase. The company has promised it could use its embryonic technology coupled with emerging barometric pressure sensors to try to detect the precise vertical location of the caller. While commendably ambitious, the technology just hasn’t matured yet – and even when it does “work,” it isn’t always accurate enough to distinguish between floors.

In order to project an appearance of industry support, TruePosition spearheaded a lobbying effort called the FindMe911 Coalition, which has been visiting offices on Capitol Hill and at the FCC. In contrast to the organic multistakeholder process that has created the industry-public safety consensus plan, TruePosition’s coalition is nothing more than a veneer meant to distract from the fact that none of the major carriers think its plan or its technology is feasible.

Public safety should not depend on a single company, a single point of failure, or a single unproven technology. There’s a reason the government has encouraged a multistakeholder approach, and there’s a reason that approach uses the proven technologies of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that are already installed in virtually every modern phone. It’s one thing to bet on an unproven company when it comes to powering homes. It’s quite another thing to place your faith in an unproven company when it comes to life-threatening public safety applications.

Once again, the federal government is facing a choice on what technology to support – but this time the result could be life and death.

David Williams is the President of The Taxpayers Protection Alliance