The National Emergency Number Association and APCO announced a joint agreement regarding next-generation 911 systems migration and transition planning.

Under the terms of a statement of cooperation, the organizations have agreed to solicit input from, and share output with, each other in an effort to develop a next-generation 911 system largely based on IP technologies. Specifically, an APCO representative will participate on NENA's Next Generation Transition Planning Committee, and NENA leaders will be on APCO's Project 41 Committee.

“We believe that, as much as possible, we need to work together … toward the same goal,” said Patrick Halley, NENA's government affairs director. “This is just a formal announcement and alliance of what we've already been doing over the last several months.”

While the organizations may not agree on all details regarding next-generation 911, a cooperative effort can enhance development efforts by both entities and eventually serve as the foundation for a united front that can help enabling legislation become a reality, Halley said.

“From my perspective, the most important thing about this is that, for this to happen, NENA and APCO have to be on the same page,” he said. “It's broader than NENA and APCO, but as the two national associations that primarily deal with 911 issues, we need to be on the same page and working together. … We're all trying to get to the same place.”