The Call - Winter 2017 - 4


NG9-1-1 is Now a Matter
of When, Not If
Rob McMullen
NENA President

From the days of rotary phones and copper wires
in the 60s and 70s, to wireless phones in the 90s,
to smartphones today, thousands of unsung
heroes have worked tirelessly to ensure that 9-1-1
is always there for those in need of emergency
assistance. However, every 9-1-1 professional
is painfully aware that our current systems are
aging and imperfect. Recent disasters including
hurricanes, wildfires, and mass shootings have
brought a variety of shortcomings into focus.
All of the major telecommunications companies
are moving rapidly to Internet-Protocol-based
networks, and the federal government is funding
and developing a wireless broadband network
for public safety field responders. That leaves
our 9-1-1 centers as the weakest link in the chain.
The need to migrate the nation's 9-1-1 system
to an IP platform becomes increasingly clear
when you consider that the citizens we serve
assume they can send text, images, and videos
to PSAPs, the overwhelming majority of which
actually are still only capable of handling voice
communications today.
By now I think that everyone in 9-1-1 agrees that
Next Generation 9-1-1 can no longer be thought
of as an "if," only a "when." And in large part, that
"when" is going to be up to us, both as members
of NENA and as 9-1-1 leaders in our communities.
NENA continues to evolve the standard that
lays out the roadmap of NG9-1-1, entitled NENA
Detailed Functional and Interface Standards for
the NENA i3 Solution. The i3 standard supports
end-to-end IP connectivity. Gateways are used
to accommodate legacy wireline and wireless
origination networks that are non-IP. NENA i3



introduces the concept of an Emergency Services
IP network (ESInet), which is designed as an
IP-based inter-network (network of networks) that
can be shared by all public safety agencies that
may be involved in any emergency. The i3 PSAP
is capable of receiving IP-based signaling and
media for delivery of emergency calls conformant
to the i3 standard. In short, i3 is a big deal. It is
universally accepted by PSAPs, 9-1-1 authorities,
states, regional authorities, and private-sector
companies as the standard for NG9-1-1.
While there is agreement about the need
for NG9-1-1, exactly how to make the transition
continues to be a topic of debate, and it is
unlikely that there will ever be a one-size-fits-all
solution. While many of our private-sector
industry partners are working hard to deliver
next-generation products and services, questions
regarding additional standards work, operational
impacts, and funding threaten to slow the
adoption of NG9-1-1.
And while there are no easy answers, NENA's
i3 standard (along with an ever-increasing suite
of NG-related documents) is in place to make
sure you have the information you need to bring
standards-based, interoperable NG9-1-1 to your
community and help move our industry forward.
With 2018 being the fiftieth anniversary of 9-1-1,
now is a time to reflect on how we've far we've
come - and how much further we must go. It will
take years of concerted efforts to bring our 9-1-1
infrastructure fully into the 21st century and keep
up with the next fifty years of innovation. However,
it is something we simply have to do, and it is up to
us to do it. Millions of callers can't wait.  ●


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Call - Winter 2017

President’s Message
From the CEO
The Leaders of 9-1-1 and Its Inception
Government Affairs
50 Years: 9-1-1 Grounded in Public Policy
The History of 9-1-1
Education & Training
Tech Trends
Products and Services Guide
Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2017 - Intro
The Call - Winter 2017 - cover1
The Call - Winter 2017 - cover2
The Call - Winter 2017 - 3
The Call - Winter 2017 - President’s Message
The Call - Winter 2017 - From the CEO
The Call - Winter 2017 - The Leaders of 9-1-1 and Its Inception
The Call - Winter 2017 - 7
The Call - Winter 2017 - 8
The Call - Winter 2017 - 9
The Call - Winter 2017 - 10
The Call - Winter 2017 - 11
The Call - Winter 2017 - Government Affairs
The Call - Winter 2017 - 50 Years: 9-1-1 Grounded in Public Policy
The Call - Winter 2017 - 14
The Call - Winter 2017 - 15
The Call - Winter 2017 - 16
The Call - Winter 2017 - Operations
The Call - Winter 2017 - 18
The Call - Winter 2017 - The History of 9-1-1
The Call - Winter 2017 - Education & Training
The Call - Winter 2017 - Tech Trends
The Call - Winter 2017 - Products and Services Guide
The Call - Winter 2017 - Index to Advertisers/
The Call - Winter 2017 - cover4