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How Tennessee is Blazing Trails for NG911 and E911 Hosted Services


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November 19, 2012

How Tennessee is Blazing Trails for NG911 and E911 Hosted Services

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Conversations surrounding the need for next generation 911 and E911 hosted solutions don’t always include the state of Tennessee. But, given the state’s progress in this area, others have a lot to learn from their experience. Under the direction of the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB), the infrastructure necessary to support Next Generation Services is well underway.

A recent Avaya (News - Alert) blog highlighted the work of Randy Porter, chairman of the TECB, and its Executive Director, Lynn Questell. The two have been focused on making sure Tennessee is home to one of the first Next Generation Emergency Services IP Networks (EDInet). In 2011, the TECB started working with AT&T (News - Alert) in an effort to build out the statewide ESInet, ensuring the delivery of conductivity for PSAP’s using NENA i3 standards.

The move toward a network to support E911 hosted services was driven by the high fees necessary to allow an outside agency to manage and access state-owned data. The TECB decided the process was no longer financially feasible. The board also wanted to make ALI database services accessible to those public safety agencies needing data and to those enterprises able to populate the data. All of this they wanted to offer at no charge to the user.

Avaya considers these efforts by the TECB and its leaders on behalf of the state of Tennessee as a great model other states can use when implementing their own initiatives to move toward E911 hosted services. While the TECB not only guided to state along their path to NG 911, the board also supports the education of the customer, from the general public to the MLTS/PBX (News - Alert) administrators.

By working directly with Avaya and Level 3, Questell and her team are gleaning the information needed to ensure MLTS/PBX administrators would receive the guidance necessary to implement robust platforms. By building out their own knowledgebase the TECB team can ensure they are prepped and ready to help with the transition to NG 911 and the implementation of E911 hosted services wherever applicable.

It also helps that in the city of Nashville, a telecommunications gear manager, affectionately known as Dr. Phil (no, not the one from TV; this is Phil Neal, one who knows telecommunications gear like the other knows the human psyche). Neal is president of the TNNAUG and manages the telecommunications gear in the 16 seat PSAP serving the Nashville metro area. His knowledge in this area and ability to see the potential in the progress of E911 hosted services and NG911 lends great value to the state; value likely to be extracted whenever possible.

While not all states will follow the Tennessee example exactly, the state has already experienced the bumps and bruises along the path toward NG 911 and its quest to make E911 hosted services available. Gleaning best practices from their experience can only lend value to those states ready to tackle a change of their own.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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