9-1-1 In the News
Reps. Torres and Eshoo Seek Update on NG9-1-1 Implementations from the GAO
June 21, 2016
Today, Reps. Norma J. Torres (D-CA) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) requested an update from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the implementation of next generation 911 (NG911) systems across the country and the impact diverting local and state 911 fees has had on emergency services.
NG911 systems use IP-based technology to receive data from a wider range of devices and mediums and provide more accurate locating capabilities than the older 911 infrastructure. The National 911 Program, housed within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Emergency Medical Services, is providing federal leadership in supporting the nationwide adoption of NG911. However, the implementation of NG911 has been inconsistent and many jurisdictions lack adequate funding to make the technological investments and provide the training necessary.
“As we saw with this week’s release of the Orlando shooter’s 911 transcripts, in times of crisis, dispatchers are a key resource and often act as important witnesses. Unfortunately, their ability to perform their duties effectively is being hampered by underfunded 911 emergency telecommunications systems that have failed to keep up with changing technology,” said Rep. Torres, a former 911 dispatcher. “In order to efficiently respond to emergencies, dispatchers must be able to obtain as much accurate information as quickly possible. However, under our current patchwork system, calls are being delayed or misdirected and vital information may never reach emergency personnel.”
"Upgrading our nation's 911 system is a critical investment for the safety of every American," said Rep. Eshoo, co-founder of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. “With over 70 percent of the 240 million 911 calls each year coming from wireless devices, it is clear we need to take immediate action to modernize how our PSAPs answer these calls. For years, Congress and members of the NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus have pushed for a nationwide transition to a NextGen 9-1-1 system to bridge this divide, but more progress is needed. I’m hopeful the GAO can shine a light on the challenges we face and provide policymakers at all levels of government with a path forward.”
In their letter, Reps. Torres and Eshoo ask GAO to provide an update on the nationwide implementation of NG911 and ask how the federal government can further assist in those efforts. They also request additional information on how the diversion by some states of 911 emergency fees to other programs has affected the ability of communities to provide emergency services.
Rep. Torres is a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security. Rep. Eshoo is Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology. The full text of the letter can be found below and here.
COALITION ESTABLISHES “PARTNERS PROGRAM” TO PROMOTE STRATEGIC ALLIANCES FOR ACCELERATING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF NG911
The NG911 NOW Coalition announced today that it has created a new program designed to expand participation in the Coalition and to coalesce national, state, and local efforts around a unified goal of deploying Next Generation 911 (NG911) services by the end of 2020. The “NG911 NOW Partners Program” will support the Coalition’s efforts to broaden support for NG911 by establishing alliances with organizations that are key to effective NG911 implementation.
Joining the NG911 NOW Coalition today as its first “Partners” are five organizations that recognize the importance of NG911 in enhancing the nation’s 911 systems to create a faster, more flexible, resilient, and scalable system that will allow 911 to keep pace with continued advancements in technology.
The Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC), a center within the Academy for Advanced Telecommunications and Learning Technologies at Texas A&M University, will provide valuable technical expertise to the Coalition on NG911 and other IP-based technologies.
The 911 Education Foundation (9EF), a research subsidiary of iCERT focused on emergency response support to public safety stakeholders, and theNG911 Institute, a not-for-profit organization that serves as an educational resource for the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus , will help the Coalition to raise awareness of NG911 issues and educate policymakers and affected stakeholders on the benefits of accelerating NG911 deployment.
The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), two organizations committed to the advancement and use of geographic information systems (GIS), will help the Coalition drive the advancement of GIS initiatives, which are important to leveraging the full benefits of NG911.
The Coalition appreciates the commitment that these organizations have made, and will continue to make, in advancing NG911 deployment across the country, and we look forward to working closely with these organizations in the coming months and years. The Coalition invites other interested individuals and organizations to join us in our collective efforts. For more information visit: www.NG911NOW.org.
The NG911 Now Coalition was established by the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA), the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT), and is aided by experts in the federal government, academia, and industry. The mission of the NG911 NOW Coalition is to promote an accelerated implementation of NG911 throughout the nation.
FirstNet and NG911: Pushing in the Same Direction
March 22, 2016
Get ready for emergency call services to move into the modern era. The first-responder community has taken two major steps so far in 2016: First, the national FirstNet program began soliciting formal proposals in January for a comprehensive, nationwide broadband network to support the nation’s first responders. Then in February, three first-responder advocacy groups joined together and, for the first time, set 2020 as a national deadline for Next Generation 911 (NG9-1-1) adoption...
Introduction of Kari's Law Act
December 3, 2015
Rep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) introduced ‘The Kari’s Law Act of 2015’ today in the U.S. House of Representatives. He released the following statement on this legislation which ensures that anyone who dials 9-1-1 will reach emergency personnel, even if the phone typically requires that user to dial “9” to get an outside line...
9-1-1 Not Ready for the iPhone Era - NYT Op Ed
November 23, 201
IN 1999, Congress established 911 as the nationwide emergency number, and called for a system that would use the best technology available to deliver emergency assistance. Now, 16 years later, our emergency response system faces an emergency of its own in the form of outdated technology. To fix this, our emergency responders — police, fire and ambulance — urgently need the help of government leaders at all levels...
NG9-1-1 Institute Statements
On Letter to GAO from Reps. Norma Torres and Anna Eshoo requesting study on NG9-1-1 Implementation
June 21, 2016
"The NG9-1-1 Institute appreciates the leadership of Rep. Torres and Rep. Eshoo in calling for an examination of the current status of NG9-1-1 implementation in the U.S. and what steps can be taken to accelerate the transition, including at the federal level. We urge the GAO to quickly address the request and stand ready to serve as a resource in answering the critical issues raised in the letter."
On the House Approval of Kari's Law Act of 2016
May 24, 2016
“All consumers should be able to dial three numbers, and only three numbers – 9-1-1 – to receive help in emergency situations regardless of where they are calling from. The NG9-1-1 Institute applauds the passage of Kari’s Law in the House and the recent approval of similar legislation by the Senate Commerce Committee. Ensuring direct access to 9-1-1 for all callers, including users of multi-line telephone systems, is a critical public safety issue.”
On the Announcement of the NG911 Now Coalition
February 23, 2016
“The Next Generation 9-1-1 Institute welcomes the formation of the NG911 NOW Coalition and applauds its vision of completing the nationwide transition to next generation 9-1-1 by the end of the decade. The goal is achievable if we all work together – government, public safety and industry – and the Institute looks forward to assisting the Coalition in any way it can, including raising awareness of this critical issue with Congress and other government leaders to make this vision a reality.”
On the Introduction of Kari's Law Act of 2016
February 12, 2016
“All consumers should be able to dial three numbers, and only three numbers – 9-1-1 – to receive help in emergency situations. The NG9-1-1 Institute appreciates Rep. Gohmert’s leadership in recognizing the importance of ensuring direct access to 9-1-1 for all callers, including users of multi-line telephone systems. Too many lives are lost when that is not the case.”
NG9-1-1 Caucus Statements
On the Announcement of the NG911 Now Coalition
February 23, 2016
“We need to continue working together to update and modernize our nation’s 9-1-1 infrastructure to meet the needs of our 21st century society,” said Next Generation 911 Caucus co-chairs Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Representatives John Shimkus (R-IL) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA). “The announcement of the formation of the Next Generation (NG) 911 NOW Coalition moves us closer to this goal and we look forward to continuing to work together with the coalition to push for the complete transition to NG911 across the country by the end of the decade.”