The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday announced a five-step plan to update the 911 system and bring the United States' emergency response system into a more modern age -- callers will soon be able to send texts, voice calls, videos, pictures, and automatic location data to 911.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said he began developing NG911 last year. His catalyst was the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, during which students could not send texts to law enforcement
Apart from the technological & implementation issues, one of the primary obstacles to this upgrade is that the system upgrades would need to find a funding source.
You can read more about the Next Generation 9-1-1 service on the website of the US Department of Transportation RITA (Research and Information Technology): Next Generation 9-1-1