The Department of Public Safety announced plans to move forward with two emergency communication service initiatives Tuesday.
Currently, more than half of Alaska's geography lacks the technology to provide dispatchers with the phone number and location of 911 callers using cell phones, according to a DPS news release. If the call is dropped before a dispatcher learns the caller's location and number, there is no way for them to call the person back and send help.
"Wireless  has been implemented in many boroughs and municipalities as a result of formal requests to wireless carriers," the release states. "While this service may be available in populated areas, 80% of Alaska's geography lacks this important technology."