Project 43: Broadband Implications for the PSAP
NG9-1-1 must be understood to mean an end-to-end, all-IP network that includes not only the connectivity afforded by ESInets but also the equipment and services needed to enable every PSAP to process new forms of data. This means when a member of the public can send a multimedia message such as a photo or video to a PSAP that in turn is capable of receiving, analyzing, and forwarding this information to a field responder to render an emergency response. As described in the Executive Summary:
“NG9-1-1 is a secure, nationwide, interoperable, standards-based, all-IP emergency communications infrastructure enabling end-to-end transmission of all types of data, including voice and multimedia communications from the public to an Emergency Communications Center.”
Standards Development and Adoption
APCO will continue to support the development of and adherence to standards that ensure seamless interoperability for public safety communications. As a specific near-term goal, APCO will continue collaborating with NENA to develop an ANSI-accredited standard for transporting EIDDs between systems and encourage adoption of the EIDD standard.
Grants and RFPs
Standards are critical, but the public safety community also needs mechanisms to ensure that NG9-1-1 systems meet the interoperability goals described in the NG9-1-1 use cases on page 56, both when they are deployed and on an ongoing basis. APCO recommends that RFP language and federal grant programs call for the use of widely deployed commercial standards to ensure seamless interoperability among and between PSAPs, ESInets, states, jurisdictions, originating networks, and the NPSBN. Any standards used in addition to widely deployed commercial standards should be approved through organizations such as ANSI that accredit the procedures of standards development organizations to ensure openness, balance, consensus, and due process. Further, federal grant programs should require that any failure to maintain commitments to seamless interoperability results in forfeiting funds.
For those states and jurisdictions that have deployed, or are seeking to deploy, ESInets or other NG9-1-1 elements, APCO recommends asking the following questions of existing or prospective vendors and putting these questions into requirements in RFPs:
- Can you guarantee that our ESInet and other IP-based equipment will be seamlessly interoperable with other ESInets and equipment, including across state boundaries?
- Can you guarantee that our ESInet will be seamlessly interoperable with origination networks? With FirstNet?
- If a solution complies with a particular standard, how have you ensured that your implementation of the standard aligns with others in the industry to achieve interoperability?
- Will you guarantee your solution to be interoperable without additional upgrades and new costs to the PSAP?
- Will your CPE, CAD, RMS, GIS or mobile app product be able to seamlessly share and exchange data with other equipment, without the need for special interfaces, additional costs?
Given FirstNet’s mandate to promote integration between the NPSBN and NG9-1-1, and the tremendous potential of seamless integration between these systems, APCO will seek to collaborate with FirstNet to help bridge this gap, such as through development of relevant standards. Further, APCO will continue to promote use of lessons learned from the FirstNet legislation to achieve similar goals in the development of NG9-1-1 systems and policies.