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

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

Using data to improve emergency response outcomes

Posted by Kevin Murray on Jun 27, 2018 5:30:00 PM

All fine restaurants have two things in common: they use the best ingredients in their recipes and, more importantly, they have chefs who know exactly what to do with those ingredients.

The public safety sector is on the cusp of an incredibly exciting new era, one that will be driven by a torrent of rich data and more precise wireless location coming into 911 centers. This data potentially will have a spectacular impact on emergency response—but only if it is harnessed effectively.

When the “data tsunami” is contemplated today, it generally is in the context of Next Generation 911 and the nationwide public safety broadband network being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). But there also is much discussion these days about integrating crowd-sourcing applications—such as the Waze traffic-navigation app—and social media into the emergency response environment, as well as the convergence of the “smart cities” concept and public safety. The idea is to leverage the millions, perhaps billions, of sensors already in place in communities today, from video cameras to motion detectors to gunshot-location systems to wearable devices, and use them to evolve 911 centers into proactive hubs that can prevent emergencies instead of simply responding to them. This data can generate unprecedented situational awareness, which when integrated, prioritized and operationalized into the PSAP, will improve emergency response outcomes and keep first responders safer. This is no small consideration.   

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Topics: Next Generation 911, Data Integration Program

MCP Urges FCC to Promote Uniform Adoption of Location-Based Routing Technologies

Posted by Dave Sehnert on May 17, 2018 2:30:00 PM

On March 22, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a notice of inquiry about how to route 911 calls to the proper call center faster and what the public should expect when calling 911 from a wireless device.

911 centers continue to struggle with location accuracy. The problem has been the subject of intense media scrutiny of late. The key question: why smartphone applications provide better location information than that received by 911 centers.

This negative media attention is well-warranted. Emergency call misroutes occur in great volumes across the U.S. every day. Misroutes, or misrouted calls, are 911 calls that are received by one PSAP and then transferred to another. However, it is important to note that the “misroutes” that are the subject of the FCC's recent inquiry mostly result from current 911 call routing mechanisms that rely on a cell tower location working as designed, not from technical failure of those mechanisms.

MCP has witnessed this firsthand in two states where we have conducted wireless integrity testing. In one county, we witnessed an astonishing error rate—38 percent of all test calls were misrouted. With wireless devices generating 80 percent of 911 calls across the nation, with some states experiencing up to 90 percent, emergency call misroutes literally are a life-and-death problem.

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Topics: 911 Anniversary, public safety, Next Generation 911

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

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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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