June 13, 2016–The NG911 NOW Coalition today released a report proposing actions that can be taken to address gaps to nationwide next-generation 911 deployment in the areas of governance, funding, technology, operations, and education. The coalition said the strategies for addressing NG-911 deployment challenges will form the basis of a national action plan for NG-911 implementation that the coalition plans to release “in the coming months.”
While the coalition, through working groups, has tentatively prioritized actions that should be taken first, it says it wants input from public safety, industry, and other stakeholders. The coalition was launched in February (TRDaily, Feb. 23). Its goal is to push for nationwide NG-911 deployment by the end of 2020.
As for key recommendations of the coalition’s working groups, for governance there is a need to “[d]evelop legislation to support increased national and state-level NG9-1-1 leadership and support including a model regulatory framework to facilitate coordination between the local 9-1-1 authorities, state executive and legislative leadership and state regulators. This legislative effort would be closely tied to strategies focused on obtaining additional NG9-1-1 funding resources.
The key funding recommendation is to “[c]omplete a high-level cost estimate for deploying NG9-1-1 across the country, and secure additional funding for NG9-1-1 through federal legislation.”
As for technology and operations, the top recommendation is to “[d]evelop a comprehensive national NG9-1-1 implementation plan that addresses both state and regional deployment models, assists in defining the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders concerning all NG9-1-1 transitional and functional elements, and identifies an organization to lead the development of operational best practices for ESInet deployments.”
Under education, the key recommendation is to “[e]ducate the public safety community, the general public and policy makers on what NG9-1-1 can offer to improve public safety and national security, focusing on the benefits of NG9-1-1, the consequences of delayed NG9-1-1 deployment, and the importance of sufficient and sustainable funding.”
“The analyses and recommendations of the working groups have provided the Coalition with important insight on those gaps that are most critical to timely NG9-1-1 deployment and clarity on how to most effectively address those gaps,” the report said. “Based on those recommendations, the Coalition has tentatively concluded that its efforts should focus on the following key priorities:” (1) “[d]evelop and implement a legislative strategy that will accelerate the deployment of NG9-1-1 systems nationwide by promoting more effective governance structures and policies and increasing the funds available for NG9-1-1,” (2) “[s]upport and expand current initiatives that are already underway, including the FCC’s Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA), the National 9-1-1 Office’s NG9-1-1 Cost Study, and continued development of i3 and associated NG9-1-1 standards,” (3) “[d]evelop and implement a comprehensive education campaign to promote a broader understanding of NG9-1-1, its capabilities and benefits, as well as the limitations of current 9-1-1 services and the significant consequences of delayed deployment,” and (4) “[e]xpand support and outreach through the development of a Partners Program that would seek to align the Coalition’s initiatives with those of other organizations that have resources and expertise to assist in accelerating NG9-1-1 implementation.”
“State governments play a vitally important role in facilitating the deployment of NG911. The state governance, regulatory, statutory, funding, technical and operational, and educational aspects of successful deployment must be addressed at the state level,” Evelyn Bailey, executive director of the National Association of State 911 Administrators, one of the founding coalition members, said in a news release on the report. “The states that have made the most progress are those that have addressed these matters. The combined efforts of the Coalition partners will help the remaining states to step up the pace.” – Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org