Avaya’s (News - Alert) Mark Fletcher traveled to Washington recently to attend the aptly named “9-1-1 Goes to Washington,” an event sponsored annually by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).
This year has been predicted to be a “banner year” for 9-1-1 and the evolution to NG 9-1-1, Fletcher pointed out in a recent blog post.
“Many experts in the industry have been predicting that 2012 will be a banner year for 9-1-1 and the evolution to NG 9-1-1, as we continue to raise the awareness of this desperately needed technological refresh,” wrote Fletcher, who believes that NG 9-1-1 is attainable in the imminent future.
The Federal Communications Commission’s Next Generation 9-1-1 Initiative is a research and development project to help define the system architecture and develop a transition plan to establish a digital, Internet Protocol (IP)-based foundation for the delivery of multimedia 9-1-1 calls. Although there remain many technical issues to sort out, NG 9-1-1 is coming soon, according to Fletcher, who is product manager for Public Safety Solutions at Avaya.
“I think we can safely say that we have the agreement from the technical side of the industry that NG 9-1-1 is achievable, and the right thing to do, although there are some technical interactions that still need to be worked out,” said Fletcher. “Fortunately, I don’t think any of these differences of opinion are showstoppers to the evolution of an IP-based emergency services network.”
However, the evolution toward NG 9-1-1 will require support from many levels, including regulatory and legislative reinforcement.
“Getting our legislators to understand the problem, is as much of an issue as the problem itself, and left up to industry lobbyists, will only ensure that the one with the most cash will be the dominant player,” Fletcher said.
Throughout the month of April, NENA is promoting National 9-1-1 Education Month, reported TMCnet’s Rich Steeves.
It has been 40 years since the 911 system was put into place in this country, and in that time it has served as a vital link between ordinary citizens and emergency services. Just like every other form of communication technology, the 911 space is quickly and constantly evolving to meet new demands and challenges and it is extremely important for people to know the facts about the system.
Edited by Rich Steeves