Cities and counties throughout the US are in the process of updating their 911 networks. As CivSource has previously reported, those upgrades include replacing legacy networks and improving interoperability between groups of first responders. Now, AT&T has announced that it will be offering 911 services a new network option to improve call routing and reliability.
The company says they are offering the network in order to facilitate more rapid adoption of next generation 911 call routing.
The network meets the latest National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3 standards, and can handle voice and text messages. Surprisingly, video and data capabilities are to come later, which does put the network at a disadvantage relative to the one used by consumer smartphones.
AT&T will use technology from West Corporation in its central offices and data centers to support the network, which will be available to customers through the second half of this year. AT&T says the rollout will include enough call processing capacity to serve more than twice the current nationwide 9-1-1 call volumes.
“This industry-leading service shows our commitment to the future of 911 and Public Safety”, said Jim Bugel, vice president, AT&T Public Safety Solutions in a statement. “The complexity of NextGen 911 call routing has been a large barrier to adoption. AT&T ESInet is a nationwide service that will simplify the transition to 911 IP call routing services.”