NENA statement on FCC's actions regarding 911 reliability

NENA – The 9-1-1 Association (www.NENA.org) applauds today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to improve 9-1-1 reliability (PS Docket No. 13-75) and the reliability and continuity of communication networks, including broadband technologies (PS Docket No. 11-60). 

This action will increase the likelihood of reaching 9-1-1 in times of emergency by requiring telecommunications infrastructure owners to certify compliance with best practices and routinely audit network elements that are essential for 9-1-1 service, such as path diversity. While there can never be a fail-proof assurance that telecommunications infrastructure will survive every man-made or natural disaster, today’s action lays out a process to routinely certify those elements of infrastructure that are essential to sustaining and restoring 9-1-1 service.

NENA recognizes that mandatory circuit audits and certification processes will come at a cost, but these costs must be weighed against the value of 9-1-1 service to the thousands of Americans who face emergencies every day.  With nearly 250 million 9-1-1 calls made each year in the United States, it is critical that all parties with responsibility for provisioning 9-1-1 service routinely assess the critical elements of their networks and other facilities.  

Today’s action establishes a solid foundation for the Commission’s anticipated trials of all-IP service. NENA is pleased that the Commission is moving swiftly to implement IP-transition trials, and looks forward to working with the Commission to ensure that 9-1-1 is available to all consumers during and after the transition to an IP-environment.

About NENA: The 9-1-1 Association

The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) serves its members and the greater public safety community as the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues. The association works with public policy leaders, emergency services, and telecommunications industry partners, like-minded public safety associations, and other stakeholder groups to develop and carry out critical programs and initiatives to improve 9-1-1; to facilitate the creation of an IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 system; and to establish industry leading standards, training, and certifications. Find out more at www.nena.org.

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