Late last year marked the completion of one of the largest address-point mapping projects in the United States. Covering 54,000 square miles, Intrado and GIS Data Resources (GDR) were tasked with creating new address points, as well as standardizing, validating and enhancing the location accuracy of existing address points across New York State.
Encouraging Congress to approve federal grants to help fund 911 and pass legislation that would address issues associated with multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) are among the primary goals for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) in 2015, according to NENA CEO Brian Fontes.
Public-safety answering points (PSAPs) should be able to get much more accurate location data from 911 callers using wireless devices indoors by leveraging information provided by commercial infrastructure such as small cells, Wi-Fi systems and Bluetooth beacons, officials for the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) said in describing the details of the recent agreement struck with the four nationwide U.S. wireless carriers.
By George Rice, iCERT.By leveraging readily available technologies like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, carriers can provide public-safety answering points (PSAPs) with better accuracy and dispatchable addresses that can be conveyed quickly to first responders when 911 emergency calls are made, even if the communication is initiated from a wireless device from inside a building.
With FCC officials indicating that they would establish rules regarding location accuracy for indoor 911 calls from cell phones, the four nationwide wireless carriers announce a voluntary agreement with two key public-safety organizations on the topic, although other first-responder groups expressed objections to the deal.
After a state regulator acknowledged that IP-based components of 911 are “interstate in nature,” it appears that table is set for the FCC and other federal-government agencies to take a more active role in the evolution to next-generation 911. Whether that comes in the form of regulation, legislation and/or funding remains to be seen, but it is likely that the current 911 landscape–particularly the relationship between carriers and third-party 911 vendors–will change in the near future.
The National 911 Program announces that the National 911 Profile Database is open and accepting 911 system data for 2013, including the number of 911 calls received, 911 fees and progress toward implementing next-generation 911. A data-analysis report will be available by the end of the calendar year.
FCC commissioners approve an order requiring all wireless carriers and providers of interconnected over-the-top text messaging services—those using phone numbers to let users send and receive messages—support text-to-911 functionality by the end of the year, if requested by a public-safety answering point (PSAP).
Cassidian Communications CEO Bob Frienberg discusses the company’s plans to make it easier for telecommunicators to handle text-to-911 emergency messages today and other forms of communications–for example, photos and videos–in the future.