Next Gen 911 System Upgrades Lag


State and local government is lagging behind when it comes to upgrading 9-1-1 systems according to research from the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and General Dynamics.

The research shows that fewer than 10 percent of U.S. state and local governments have implemented Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems, and only 15 percent of organizations have set an implementation deadline for NG9-1-1. Still, some 60 percent of states in the survey say that they are in the discovery phase of looking into upgrades.

Seventy percent of respondents say transitioning from a legacy system to a new system is the top concern regarding upgrading to NG9-1-1. But, almost half of survey respondents (48 percent) are concerned with the unpredictable costs associated with a migration.

Cybersecurity also emerged as a new concern for agencies as the interconnectivity of these systems increases.

Last year, Morgan County, Ohio was the first to implement a NENA compliant 9-1-1 solution. “We were literally relying on 1960s technology to be frank,” Dave Bailey, Morgan County NextGen-911 Coordinator, said in an interview with CivSource.

NENA i3 compliance is a compliance guideline from the National Emergency Number Association that focuses on end-to-end IP connectivity. Gateways are used to accommodate legacy wireline and wireless origination networks and essentially creates an emergency response communications platform that is cloud based and less reliant on manual processes. NENA has been working with emergency response management teams nationwide to develop compliance guidelines and best practices for this kind of system. The end goal is local and nationwide interoperability between first responders.