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Counties file to operate NG9-1-1 Project in Southern Illinois

Date: 2012-03-01
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The Counties of Southern Illinois (CSI) organization has submitted a petition for authorization to conduct a Regional Next Generation 9-1-1 Pilot Project to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). The filing of the petition is the latest milestone toward implementing the vision for improved public safety shared by the citizens of the region.

CSI is comprised of sixteen Emergency Telephone Service Boards (ETSBs) in southern Illinois that have been operating through inter–governmental agreements as a not-for-profit organization. The petition was filed pursuant to Public Act 096-1443, an act that gives the ICC the authority to grant to a group of fifteen to nineteen counties, permission to proceed with moving live emergency communications traffic to a regional pilot Next Generation 9-1-1 system.

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The CSI executive board members, including Ken Smith, Jana Fear, Tracy Felty, and Pat Lustig, announced the filing as “a major step towards the future of emergency services response.” According to CSI Project Manager, Pat Lustig, “Over five years ago we realized that 9-1-1 systems had outlived the circuitswitched based networks that have facilitated 9-1-1 call delivery for the last twenty years. New technologies and consumer expectations were leading the way. There could only be one choice, transition to this new IP architecture.”

The petition describes CSI’s plan for the pilot project, including the design of their Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet), Databases, and Data Management Processes, which are based on standards developed by the National Emergency Numbering Association (NENA). NENA is the primary national association of 9-1-1 professionals that focuses on technology, operations, education, and public policy related to emergency communications services. Assure911.net, LLC, a supplier of reliability design solutions and E9-1-1 and Next Generation 9-1-1 monitoring systems, designed the CSI ESInet.

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The ESInet will reside on the broadband network being deployed across southern Illinois by Clearwave Communications, a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grantee. Clearwave is in the midst of a multi–year build out of a fiber-based network that will connect hundreds of schools, hospitals, and other public institutions in southern Illinois to the Internet.

The ICC has at least 180 days to consider whether to approve the petition.  

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via CSI, 2/15/12)

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