E911 is an important consideration for businesses as it ensures that individuals within an enterprise can call 911 and get help when needed without impediments. This has even gotten to the point of legislation, as is the case in Michigan where 20 percent of the grace period to implement remediated E911 in PBX (News - Alert) systems is now up, with four years remaining.
A recent blog post from Mark J. Fletcher, Avaya's (News - Alert) manager of Product Strategy and Vision for Public Safety Solutions, discusses this E911 legislation, while discussing the future of communications and how it will affect E911 going forward.
For one thing, PBX systems are far from the least complicated aspect of ensuring proper E911 functionality as now-common scenarios such as remote offices with limited trunking, multistory buildings and employees that work at home throw further complexity into the mix. Of course, if during the course of a normal business day any employee dials 911, it is the responsibility of the business operator to provide proper functionality in its telecommunications equipment to allow help to arrive as soon as possible.Companies such as 911 ETC (News - Alert) exist solely to provide fully managed E911 service for organizations, helping to ensure accurate location information is attached to outgoing 911 calls placed from behind the PBX system, or even from a remote worker utilizing a soft phone.
Fortunately, today's networks are intelligent and self aware, making it relatively easy to track device movement and location. Even a company that doesn't manage its wire maps within the building can look to low-cost modular jacks that are capable of reporting their physical location.
Fletcher goes on to point out that in the future, technology will be borrowed from the cellular industry for this purpose, applied to wireless access points for location awareness. This will soon become entirely necessary too as WebRTC is poised to become the next major evolution in communications. Since WebRTC allows practically any device with a processor to become voice enabled.
Fortunately, companies like Plantronics can detect such small details as whether an employee is wearing a headset or if it's laying on a desk, making E911 more or less ready for what's to come in telecommunications. Now it's just up to businesses to keep up.
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Edited by Rich Steeves