Our country’s 911 system has changed over time and will continue to do so as the way we communicate changes with emerging technologies. While older 911 service may have required the caller to provide their address, Enhanced 911 service automatically provides this information. While wireless phones at one time posed a problem in terms of identifying similar caller information, that is no longer the case. With Next Generation 911 (NG911) additional capabilities will be available that will allow voice, video, text, and data to be transmitted to PSAPs.
With the critical role that the 911 system plays in our society, it is understandable that it receives a variety of regulatory attention. The FCC for instance, imposes requirements on voice service providers and how they manage 911 calls. State E911 legislation specifies further guidelines for carriers, for multi-line telephone systems, and potentially for any person, company, or corporation, public or private, that provides exchange telephone services.
Small Communities Remaining Current Under Budget Challenges
For the municipalities that need to implement E911 solutions, remaining current with technology is certainly a clear challenge. Contending with the various regulatory standards and their impact on the technological capabilities of E911 systems presents a significant additional challenge. How can a municipality justify and feel comfortable with an investment in this type of system, when looking into the future all they can clearly see is that …
- technology is sure to continue to change and evolve, and
- state and national regulation of this public service will continue to have unforeseen impacts on the systems needed to deliver E911 service