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National 911 Program Commences Study on NG9-1-1 Costs

Date: 2015-10-20
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Assessment will include service requirements and specifications for Next Generation 9-1-1

The 9-1-1 system plays an important role in public safety, serving as the primary communication tool for the public in emergencies for nearly 50 years.  As consumer technology has evolved – from landline to cell phones and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology – traditional 9-1-1 funding models are no longer able to sustain the 9-1-1 system, let alone support the implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1), an IP-based network that will replace the current 9-1-1 system.

NG9-1-1 brings significant changes in equipment, infrastructure, personnel training and culture for 9-1-1 Public Safety Answer Point (PSAP) managers and 9-1-1 authorities. These changes will allow the 9-1-1 system to manage and use digital data it receives from the public; however the total cost and amount of funding needed to implement NG9-1-1 are still unclear.

Recognizing the need for comprehensive 9-1-1 system funding reform as 9-1-1 evolves, the National 9-1-1 Program, housed within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has begun work to develop a report to assess the costs, service requirements and specifications needed for NG9-1-1.

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The report was requested by Congress in Section 6508 of the of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012  “to serve as a resource… as [Congress] considers creating a coordinated, long-term, funding mechanism for the deployment and operation, accessibility, application development, equipment procurement, and training of personnel for Next Generation 9-1-1 services.”

The National 911 Program serves as a coordinator of information for the 9-1-1 community.  This report will join the many tools and resources that the Program develops to support the efforts of state, regional and county 9-1-1 officials to provide optimal 9-1-1 services to communities across the nation.

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The National 911 Program will work with Mission Critical Partners, a public safety and emergency communications consulting firm, and its subcontractor Booz Allen Hamilton, a technology consulting and engineering services firm, to gather feedback from the 9-1-1 stakeholder community to address the focal areas of the report, including:

  • How costs would be broken out geographically and allocated among PSAPs, broadband service providers, and third-party providers of NG9-1-1 services
  • An assessment of the current state of NG9-1-1 service readiness among PSAPs
  • How differences in PSAP access to broadband across the U.S. may affect costs
  • A technical analysis and cost study of different delivery platforms, such as wireline, wireless and satellite
  • An analysis of the needs for NG9-1-1 services of persons with disabilities

The report will be completed within the next two years.

For more information, see www.911.gov

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via National 911 Program, 10/9/15)

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