Tuesday, August 9, 2011

FCC Chairman Outlines NG911 Plan

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined the following five-step plan to transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) services, which will promise seamless, end-to-end IP-based communication of emergency-related voice, text, data, photos, and video between the public and public safety answering points. Under the plan, the FCC will:

(1) develop automatic location accuracy mechanisms for NG-911,

2) facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards for the hardware and software that carriers and public safety answering points (PSAPs) use to communicate NG911 information,

(3) work with state 911 authorities, other Federal agencies, and other governing entities
to provide technical expertise and develop a coordinated approach to NG911 governance,

(4) develop an NG911 Funding Model focused on the cost-effectiveness of the NG911 network infrastructure linking PSAPs and carriers and

(5) enable consumers to send text, photos, and videos to PSAPs.

In September, the FCC will launch a rulemaking process on how to accelerate NG911 adoption. As part of the proceeding, the FCC will examine interim solutions for ensuring that carriers
and service providers support transmission of text-to-911.

"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency. The unfortunate truth is that the capability of our emergency response communications has not kept pace with commercial innovation – has not kept pace with what ordinary people now do every day with communications devices. The shift to NG911 can't be about if, but about when and how," stated Chairman Genachowski.

The announcement was made at the 2011 Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference
in Philadelphia.

See also