WASHINGTON (CN) - The D.C. Circuit blocked a Federal Communications Commission rule that would enhance the system for tracking 911 calls from going into effect, citing "procedural irregularities" with the new rule.
Rural Cellular Association and T-Mobile USA challenged last September's rule, saying it sets impossible compliance deadlines and reporting requirements.
The rule required cellular carriers to meet various benchmarks for ramped up "E-911" location accuracy over the next five years to ensure full compliance by Sept. 11, 2012, extended from an earlier deadline of Sept. 11, 2008.
The appeals court concluded that the carriers had "demonstrated a likelihood of success" on their claims and stayed the FCC order.
RCA issued a statement saying it was pleased with the court's decision and would continue to improve E-911 accuracy, but should not be "expected to perform the impossible or go broke trying."
Wireless operators are not required to locate emergency callers between 50 and 300 meters of their actual positions. The FCC has already fined several national operators for failing to comply with the E-911 requirements.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.