When it comes to E911 hosted solutions, there might be a bit of confusion surrounding PS-ALI and whether or not it is necessary for E911.
First, it’s important to simplify in laymen’s terms what PS-ALI is and how it related to E911 and what role it plays in the scope of E911.
PS-ALI stands for private switch-automatic location identification. In a nutshell, it’s an enhancement of E911 if you’re a PBX (News - Alert), as it will help the E911 operator direct emergency response to your correct location. One of the more pressing challenges in the past when it came to E911 hosted solutions was being able to track IP phones as they moved within the network. Providers needed to meet requirements with E911, and so PS-ALI was the answer to getting accurate location and detailed situation information in the event of an emergency.
However, it’s not clear to a lot of consumers whether or not PS-ALI is necessary with their E911 hosted solutions.
Legally, it certainly sounds like it should be a requirement, but Mark J. Fletcher blogging over at Avaya has some key points for consumers to consider and boils down the tech-heavy aspect of this problem and simplifies it to a few key points.
Fletcher’s argument is that, in terms of E911 hosted solutions, one could assume that the E911 provider is already handling the E911 services, so why should additional services like PS-ALI be required?
A telephone number is specific to the address to which it is tied to, ergo, maintaining PS-ALI for it shouldn’t be necessary. In his example, PS-ALI is an extended service in which the consumer has the ability to update and maintain records at any time, but for some, this is just an extraneous feature that many do not need on the consumer level.
What consumers should keep in mind, notes Fletcher, is that is good to remind your provider that you already pay for E911 in the form of a service charge and that all that is necessary is to check up and make sure your information is accurate with your number and service. It isn’t a necessity to manage records on a daily basis for the consumer, and it is perfectly acceptable and within the consumer’s rights to ensure that their provider does, in fact, have the most up to date information associated with their number.
On the business side of things, PS-ALI might be an additional service worth investing in, as it provides the E911 system with current, specific employee or tenant location information to expedite emergency response times to the site of the emergency, not just to the building or office location.
The bottom line is that PS-ALI is only an enhancement that could be beneficial to a business. If you’re a consumer, there is no need for the additional cost of PS-ALI for your already existing E911 services.
Edited by Rich Steeves