New Coalition Pushes for Nationwide NG 9-1-1 by End-2020
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 | Comments
A coalition of 9-1-1 public-safety and industry leaders, in cooperation with the National 9-1-1 Program and the Next Generation 9-1-1 Institute, announced a nationwide effort to accelerate the implementation of next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) services by the end of 2020.

The NG911 NOW Coalition is serving as an advocate for accelerated deployment of NG 9-1-1. The coalition is launching a nationwide campaign to achieve its goal that “by the end of the year 2020, all 9-1-1 systems and call centers in all 56 states and territories will have sufficiently funded, standards-based, end-to-end IP-based 9-1-1 capabilities, and have retired legacy 9-1-1 systems, without any degradation in service.” The mission of the coalition is to create increased attention to NG 9-1-1 issues and promote actions that will accelerate implementation of NG 9-1-1 systems and services throughout the nation.

The NG911 NOW Coalition, a group of national thought leaders in the 9-1-1 community, has joined together to bring attention to achieving NG 9-1-1 nationwide. The coalition is supported by government partners and members of academia, and led by three 9-1-1 and emergency communications organizations — the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA), the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

NG 9-1-1 is a nationwide, standards-based, all-IP emergency communications infrastructure enabling voice and multimedia communications among a 9-1-1 caller, the public-safety answering point (PSAP) and responders in the field. NG 9-1-1 will create a faster, more flexible, resilient and scalable system that allows 9-1-1 to keep up with communications technology used by the public, the group said.

Last year, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Congress should step in to fund the transition to NG 9-1-1 in an editorial in the New York Times.

"Over the past year, I have been very vocal about the fact that the transition to NG 9-1-1 is stalled, and we need an all-out effort to accelerate it," said Wheeler. "Today's announcement of a new coalition to hasten the NG 9-1-1 transition is welcome news. Modernizing the nation's 9-1-1 system will take work from many stakeholders, including the FCC, state and local 9-1-1 authorities and legislatures, industry and Congress, but together we can save lives."

When a highly reliable, secure, standards-based NG 9-1-1 system is deployed nationwide, 9-1-1 centers will have enhanced tools at their disposal for more effective and efficient response, and increased ability to interoperate with other PSAPs or transfer all functionality in the event of a major disaster.

The coalition will seek help from other government and public-safety organizations, as well as industry partners, as it works to implement an action plan to secure the funding, governance, best practices and policies that will make this vision a reality.

“The NG9-1-1 Institute welcomes the formation of the NG911 NOW Coalition and applauds its vision of completing the nationwide transition to NG 9-1-1 by the end of the decade,” said Patrick Halley, executive director of the NG9-1-1 Institute. “The goal is achievable if we all work together — government, public safety and industry — and the institute looks forward to assisting the coalition in any way it can, including raising awareness of this critical issue with Congress and other government leaders to make this vision a reality.”

One public-safety organization missing from the founding groups is the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International.

"APCO supports the quick deployment of NG 9-1-1 nationwide as soon as possible," said APCO Executive Director and CEO Derek Poarch. "We wish the NG9-1-1 NOW Coalition the very best in their efforts to expedite that deployment. APCO just announced Project 43, which will address broadband implications for the PSAP.  We think we can best expedite the quick deployment of NG 9-1-1 by focusing our resources and efforts on the hard-working women and men around the country working in PSAPs who will ultimately be responsible for processing all of the information from the rapidly evolving next-generation technologies soon to flow into those PSAPs.  We believe that our Project 43 efforts will be very compatible with the work of the NG9-1-1 NOW Coalition."

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