MCP Insights

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

The Difference Between Change Management and Change Leadership In Public Safety Communications

Posted by John Spearly on May 7, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Profound changes are coming to the public safety sector, particularly to 911 centers. Next Generation 911 systems and the nationwide public safety broadband network—which is being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)—will generate a tremendous amount of new, actionable data in real-time that dramatically will enhance situational awareness, in turn improving emergency response by leaps and bounds. In time, even more usable information generated by the billions of data-collection sensors already in place—whose numbers will reach into the trillions in the not-too-distant future—will be leveraged by 911 centers, which will become the center of the information universe, at least as it pertains to public safety.

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Topics: 911 Anniversary, Operations, Next Generation 911, Network Evolution, FirstNet

If you’re operating an IP-based 911 network, plan to be attacked

Posted by Mark Perkins on Apr 24, 2018 5:00:00 PM

From coast to coast, public safety agencies are implementing Emergency Services Internet Protocol (IP) Networks (ESInets) to provide Next Generation 911 (NG911) services. Such broadband-enabled networks promise to greatly enhance emergency response, as they will enable bandwidth-intensive files, such as streaming video, to be received by NG911-capable public safety answering points (PSAPs) and then shared with first responders in the field, bringing situational awareness to new, lofty levels.

At the same time, ESInets will enable PSAPs to share data with each other seamlessly and in real time, and will enable them to serve as backups to each other in the event that one or more PSAPs in a region are rendered inoperable, inaccessible or uninhabitable due to a disaster.

More than 180 PSAP cyber attacks in the last two years

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that municipal communications systems, especially 911 systems, are viewed in the black-hat hacker community as a very large notch in the belt, so they increasingly are being targeted. More than 180 cyber attacks on PSAP infrastructure have been recorded in the last two years alone. A huge factor is that IP networks are far more vulnerable to cyber attack than the closed networks provided by telecommunications carriers that carried 911 calls to PSAPs for most of the last half century. (Learn more about this and how 911 network management is changing in our upcoming webinar on 4/26.)

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Topics: Network Evolution, Next Generation 911

Integrating crowd-sourced data into 911 is a great idea

Posted by Glenn Bischoff on Mar 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

During the Early Adopter Summit—a gathering of 911 industry professionals on the leading edge of disruptive innovation, both technological and operational, convened last November by Christy Williams, 911 director for the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)—Michael Morris, NCTCOG’s director of transportation, told a story about a colleague who recently had encountered a considerable amount of road debris.

The colleague had called 911 to report the debris and learned that this was the only call that had been received about the matter. However, the colleague also was told that Waze, the crowd-sourced mapping and navigation application, indicated that five of its users had reported the debris, with the first instance occurring 38 minutes prior to the colleague calling 911.

Integrate Waze with the 911 system?

Morris then spoke about the possibility of someday integrating applications such as Waze with the 911 system. “I’m not saying that it would be easy to integrate Waze with a 911 system,” he said. “But there are algorithms that can be written so that, maybe once you get the second or third verification … it (becomes) a 911 item. It gets back to the notion of prevention, versus just responding.”

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Topics: 911 Anniversary, Network Evolution, Next Generation 911

911’s 50th Anniversary Wish List: Advanced Mobile Location

Posted by Dave Sehnert on Feb 16, 2018 3:45:00 PM

Three weeks ago, my colleague, John Chiaramonte, made an impassioned plea to the four major wireless carriers. He asked them to serve the critical needs of the 911 sector and all those who dial those digits in their time of greatest need by turning on Advanced Mobile Location (AML)—now.  Today, on the 50th Anniversary of 911, I am delighted to write about an alternate solution to getting life-saving enhanced location technology into the hands of the telecommunicator.

Yesterday afternoon, RapidSOS released the results from its NG911 Clearinghouse Android Emergency Location Services (ELS) Pilot Project held last month in three jurisdictions across the United States: Collier County, Florida, North Central Texas, and Loudon County, Tennessee.  Each represents a variety of topography and population, as well as integration with an assortment of existing public safety answering point (PSAP) software.

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Topics: 911 Anniversary, Public Safety Technology, Network Evolution, Next Generation 911

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MCP Insights by Mission Critical Partners is the online destination for public safety leaders to expand their knowledge, stay abreast of trends, and discover innovative ideas to help implement change that will advance the industry... Because the mission matters.

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