Next-generation E911 is one of those things which seem to be experiencing a slow progression. To be honest, many don’t even know where it plans to go or where it’s headed itself. While some specific focuses have been emphasized on its future developments, capabilities which have graced many forms of technology have yet to meet the 911 sector.
“The truth is that the majority of the nation's current 911 systems are voice-only networks based on an original wireline, analog, circuit-switched infrastructure that is incapable of efficiently supporting IP-based technology,” says this Urgent Communications article. Compared to the widespread advancements made in communications technology ranging from text-messaging to global positioning systems to VoIP to smart devices, E911 seems to not be holding up too well. The good thing is, however, that it very easily can.
With growing expectations of E911 functionality, some changes will have to be made. Luckily, that will be fairly easy with the following 911 components, which can help provide immediate benefits:
- A public-safety-class, IP-based network
- IP-based call-processing equipment (CPE) in public-safety answering points (PSAPs)
- Geographic information system (GIS) data enhancements
- Advanced 911 data capabilities and applications
“When an agency thoughtfully deploys even just one NG-911 component, it provides the platform for future implementations,” UC says. Some public safety agencies are deviating from the script by embracing a more customized approach to NGE911. For example, the state of Washington will have its own IP-based CPE with equipment hosted in a “commercial provided, public-safety class ‘cloud,” which will work to incorporate the security and redundancy measures needed while also increasing flexibility and enhancing functionality to include such things as data-sharing and call-transfer capabilities.
“At the center of NG-911 is GIS. Seamless functionality of GIS and 911 databases will be even more crucial to a successful emergency response in an increasingly mobile world,” explains UC. “To get a head start and prepare for full migration to NG-911, agencies can gather and refine their GIS data to support advanced operations.”
This seems reflective of the recent APCO International 78th Annual Conference FCC (News - Alert) Regulatory Panel, which discussed the latest necessary developments needed to bring next-generation E911 full circle. One of the major goals as noted by speakers, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief, David Turetsky, and Deputy Bureau Chief, David Furth, was the role mobile devices would play in their initiative. The largest was to allow consumers to adopt text-to-911, which is currently being worked on to produce a variety of supporting ideas for this and other applications.
“SMS also can offer significant public safety benefits and serve as a first step in the migration to full Next Generation 911,” Furth explains. “Most notably, SMS-to-911 can take advantage of SMS's widespread consumer availability and ease of use. Equally important, it can provide enhanced accessibility to 911 for over 40 million Americans people with hearing or speech disabilities.”
So while some technological advancements seem to happen overnight, the transition to next-generation 911 doesn’t have to happen all at once, and neither should it. Such a critical technology impacting individuals’ safety should rather have an intricate and practical approach for guaranteed success – how long this advancement takes seems pretty inconsequential in comparison.
Speaking of advancements in the field, RedSky (News - Alert) Technologies continues to see excellence with its high-quality, best-of-breed 911 technologies, such as its E911 Manager. RedSky’s E911 Manager serves as the most advanced E911 software application in today’s enterprise, working to reliably manage and automate every aspect of the E911 process to make it easy for administrators to track their 911 emergency management.
By installing E911 Manager into your enterprise, you will see E911 management happen automatically, meaning there is no longer a need for constant monitoring on the user’s behalf, saving valuable administration hours. Additionally, phone locations are tracked, systems are updated and administrators receive daily or hourly status updates and notifications either via e-mail or SMS.
To learn more about RedSky’s award-winning E911 technologies, click here.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli