This month, the National Emergency Number Association will host its 26th annual 911 Conference and Trade in Charlotte, N.C.

Roger Hixson, NENA's technical issues director, spoke with MRT senior writer Donny Jackson about opportunities at the show for attendees to learn more about the future of 911 service.

The conference is rife with technology sessions, as it is every year. Is there a particular session or track that stands out in your mind?

We have a general session on Monday (June 11) that is meant to pique the interest of those who attend concerning what NG911 is all about: what its drivers are, why it's important and what are some of the issues, considerations and questions that are involved.

For those people who choose to continue on the NG911 track, the 10 or 11 sessions over three days are meant to flesh out all of that initial impression in various areas, from what kind of originating devices are out there now, what's coming in the future and how that's going to evolve and impact emergency-service provisioning. Other sessions will look at policy issues associated with it and database considerations for public-safety authorities and PSAPs.

It's an attempt to lay out in several sessions the technical, operational and in-depth conceptual information about NG911 — what it is, why it is needed, where we're going, how we plan to get there and what it will be when it grows up. For people who dedicate themselves to the NG911 track the entire week, the objective is for them to walk away with a specific understanding about what NG911 is all about and the process that we have to develop it and get it into place.

Will the i3 guidelines be released at the conference?

They won't be out in an approved public form, but we'll be covering them in the conference sessions.

The first version of the i3 architecture and interface specification is scheduled to be finished in the second quarter. It will probably be reviewed and approved early in the third quarter, but that's only the first version — and it's only part of the picture.

Work will continue on that in version 2 the rest of this year and into early next year. At the same time, we need to do standards development associated with database systems, database management and certain aspects of systems operations … including specific performance expectations and contractual information that supports [NG911].

How does i3 fit into the NG911 effort?

When you take the various development pieces and put them all together, that's NG911. The idea that i3 equals NG911 is not a valid statement. The i3 standard provides the architecture and interface basics of NG911, but it's far from the whole package.

When do you believe the “whole package” for NG911 will be complete?

My assumption is that the earliest that can happen is in early 2009, but it probably will be late 2009. In order to accomplish that, development has to take place this year and during the first half of 2008, or maybe a little later in 2008. It's all got to be tested and trialed before we put it in place.

NENA 2007 Basics

Where: Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center

Pre-conference workshops: Sat., June 9 and Sun., June 10, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Conference sessions: Mon., June 11, 2:45 to 5:00 p.m.; Tues., June 12, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Wed., June 13, 9:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Exhibits: Mon., June 11 and Tues., June 12, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

PSAP tours: Mon., June 11 through Wed., June 13, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Keynote: Greg Levine, humorist and call center consultant, Mon., June 11, 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Welcome reception: Sun., June 10, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

First timers' breakfast: Mon., June 11, 7:00 to 8:15 a.m.

More info: www.nena.org

Exhibitor List

911 Cares 438
911 Datamaster 913
911 For Kids 836
9-1-1 Magazine 904
Advanced Concepts Inc. 230
AFC Industries Inc. 905
AK Associates 833
Air Vac Lifeteam 111
APCO International Inc. 920
AT&T 119
Battery Zone 117
Bergvik Flooring 127
Bramic Creative Business Prod 317
Carolina Recording Systems 1019
Center for Domestic Preparedness 336
Cisco Systems 924
CODY Systems 806
Computer Information Systems Inc. 717
Concept Seating Inc. 215
ConneXon 322
Contact One Inc. 420
Cornell 515
CritiCall Pre-Employment Testing Software 115
CTA Communications 814
CVDS Inc. 433
Cygnus Business Media 534
Datamaxx 135
DataTech 911 Software Solutions Inc. 435
Dispatch Products Co. 326
Dormore Seating by Dylux Technology LLC 226
Dynamic Instruments Inc. 513
EMBARQ 718
Emergency Communications Network 134
Emergent Communications Inc. 633
EmergiTech Inc. 824
EnRoute Emergency Systems 218
ESRI 228
Evans Consoles 830
Eventide Inc. 1001
FATPOT Technologies Inc. 820
Florida Chapter of NENA 338
GeoComm Inc. 514
GeoConnex Corp. 735
Global Mesh Technologies 730
HBF Group Inc. 308
Higher Ground Inc. 129
ICMI 537
Innovant 724
InterAct Public Safety Systems 501
Intergraph Corporation 234
Intrado 616
Jacksonville State University 933
KOVA Corp. 919
L. Robert Kimball & Associates 323
Language Line Services 235
Logistic Systems Inc 628
M/A-COM 818
MasterClock Inc. 334
microDATA GIS Inc. 712
Microsoft Across America Truck 1002
- Provided by VisionAIR Microvoice Corp. 908
ModUcom 425
Motorola 302
MSAG LLC 906
MultiVision USA 637
NAED 533
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 535
National Law Enforcement Telecommunications 437
NCS GETS/WPS - DHS 133
NEC Corporation of America 734
NetworkOmni 434
New World Systems 124
NICE Systems Inc. 610
Nine One One Inc. 910
Northrop Grumman 931
OnStar 426
Pictometry International Corp. 217
PlantCML 602
Plantronics Inc. 536
Positron Public Safety Systems 206
PowerPhone Inc. 315
Priority Dispatch Corp. 526
Proven Ways 935
Public Safety Comm. Mgmt Services 132
Public Safety Group 333
Public Safety Systems Inc. (PSSI) 733
Public Safety Training Consultants (PSTC) 436
Radio Resource Magazine 233
RCC Consultants Inc. 105
REVERSE 911 715
Robot Factory Inc. 136
RussBassett Corp. 802
SAVE Corp. 1016
Schrader-Tevebaugh 636
SDN Global LLC 934
Seating Inc. 110
SolaCom Technologies 835
Southern Software Inc. 532
Spatial Data Research Inc. 831
Spectracom Corp. 216
Spillman Technologies Inc. 634
Sprint/Nextel 316
SSI Services Inc. 120
Stancil Solutions 909
Stratus Technologies 902
SunGard Public Sector-OSSI Public Safety 901
SyTech Corporation 622
Systems Manufacturing Corporation 834
T-Mobile 432
TeleCommunication Systems Inc. (TCS) 519
TeleSTaff by PDSI Software 125
Tiburon Inc. 327
Time Warner Cable 335
TriTech Software Systems 823
Twenty First Century Communications 538
United Group Inc. 236
Valencia Enterprises 517
Valor Systems Inc. 810
V-COMM LLC 231
Verizon Business 721
Viking Acoustical Corp. 116
VisionAIR 106
VPI (Voice Print International) 415
Watson Dispatch 414
WeatherTAP.com 620
Wright Line 520
XTEND Communications 224
XYBIX Systems Inc. 916
Zetron Inc. 507
*Current as of May 16