MCP Insights

Four Takeaways from the Next Generation 911 Cost Study Report Delivered to Congress this Week

Posted by Gordon Vanauken on Oct 5, 2018 11:30:00 AM

As part of the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96), Congress directed the 911 Implementation and Coordination Office, which is housed within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation and is a joint program with the National Telecommunication and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce,  to investigate the cost of implementing Next Generation 911 (NG911) service across the country.

The report was intended to “serve as a resource as [Congress] considers creating a coordinated, long-term funding mechanism for the deployment and operation, accessibility, application development, equipment procurement and training of personnel for Next Generation 911 services.”

Years later—after many hours spent interviewing stakeholders, collecting and analyzing data, and evaluating models—the National 911 Program this week delivered the Next Generation 911 Cost Study to Congress.

Mission Critical Partners applauds the progress made by the National 911 Program, not only by delivering this report, but also by creating a universal definition and framework for understanding the various stages of development and implementation of NG911 service nationwide. This effort marks a significant milestone in the Government’s role of advancing the nation’s 911 system and acting as an advocate for efficient and effective emergency response.

We caught up with several of our NG911 experts to discuss the four biggest takeaways from the Cost Study.

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Topics: Funding, Next Generation 911, Industry News

How to Lessen the Impact of Public Safety Vendor Consolidations

Posted by John Chiaramonte on Sep 27, 2018 3:00:00 PM

A baseball adage says that when a pitcher throws you a curveball, you hit it to the opposite field. But what do you do when the pitcher hurls a fastball right at your head?

The public safety version of this scenario occurs whenever system or technology vendors consolidate, either through merger or acquisition, an action that often places their customers in a very precarious position. Agencies immediately wonder whether their already deployed systems will be supported in the same manner as before the consolidation.

Often, they are not, in part because some number of administrative, engineering and service personnel typically leave a company after a consolidation.

Worse, systems and equipment often are eliminated in the aftermath of a consolidation, usually because of product redundancies. Preparing for system and equipment end of life always is challenging, but it becomes terrifying when it occurs suddenly and with no warning. Public safety agencies are in the business of saving lives and that becomes significantly more difficult when communications systems are rendered inoperable because replacement components or maintenance services cannot be procured—because they no longer exist.  

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Topics: Public Safety Technology, Technology Procurement and Integration, Industry News

What’s the Future of Land Mobile Radio in a FirstNet World? [Webinar]

Posted by Morgan Sava on Sep 21, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Nick Falgiatore, an MCP subject-matter expert from the radio and wireless team and a 2017 recipient of the IWCE Young Professional award, investigated a key question on the minds of many public safety officials last month in an Above Ground Level (agl) Magazine article.

The article, “What’s the Future of Land Mobile Radio in a FirstNet World?”, discusses how the nationwide broadband network being implemented by FirstNet will eventually provide mission-critical voice, but predicts that it’s a long way off. As a result, public safety officials should consider not only investing in—but also replacing, when appropriate—their land mobile radio (LMR) system.

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Topics: Land Mobile Radio, FirstNet

Stop Thinking About 'Staffing 911.' Start Thinking About Workforce Optimization.

Posted by Bonnie Maney on Sep 18, 2018 3:30:00 PM

It has never been more challenging to be a PSAP official.

Longer-term considerations include implementing Next Generation 911 (NG911) technology and integrating the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN)—being built under the auspices of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)—into the 911 center’s operations. These are no small tasks.

The one short-term topic that is on everyone’s mind is staffing. It is not something merely to consider—it is the thing under the bed, the thing that keeps you awake—night after night after night. Right now, the 911 community is dealing with an acute 911 staffing shortage. In many cases PSAPs are struggling to keep up with the volume of emergency calls they receive, Obviously, this is placing lives at greater risk, which is a very big problem.

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Topics: Staffing, Operations

Cautious Optimism Surrounds CTIA Announcement Regarding Improving 911 Location Accuracy

Posted by Dave Sehnert on Sep 10, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Last week was a great week for public safety—at least we think it was. Let me explain.

CTIA, the trade association that represents wireless communications carriers, announced that the four largest nationwide wireless carriers in the United States—AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon—will integrate device-based hybrid (DBH) location solutions into their networks. DBH technology has evolved rapidly, and trials have shown that they deliver location information much faster and much more accurately than the Wireless Phase II data delivered by the location technologies currently employed by the carriers.

To date in the United States, device-based hybrid location technology comes in two flavors: Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) developed for Apple’s iPhone operating system and Emergency Location Service (ELS) developed for Google’s Android OS. Both technologies aggregate numerous data sources—e.g., the Global Positioning System (GPS), Bluetooth beacons, Wi-Fi hotspots, data from mapping/navigation applications, and activity-based apps—to deliver more-accurate location data, particularly indoors, for 911 calls made from smartphones.

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Topics: Network Evolution, Next Generation 911, Industry News

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