911 and 112 are the world's standard emergency numbers, ITU decides

911 Emergency number (STOCK)

The International Telecommunication Union has officially set two standard emergency phone numbers for countries to use in the future. AP reports that member states have agreed that either 911 or 112 should be designated as emergency phone numbers — 911 is currently used in North America, while 112 is standard across the EU and in many other countries worldwide.

This isn't the first time ITU members have decided on this practice: a 2008 guideline recommends 112 or 911 to countries that were either standardizing their first emergency number or adding a second one. The fact that it's coming up at this week's WCIT talks, however, means it's probably made its way into the organization's central telecommunications treaty. If this resolution is like the previous best practices, though, any countries that already use a different number won't need to change it. The two-week talks have been fraught with tension, as the US and EU clash with Russia over internet backbone control, so the ITU is probably glad to have something fairly innocuous to report.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.