Articles

Texas Issues Next Generation 911 Master Plan

Landline voice, landline teletype/telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY/TDD), wireless/cellular voice, and VoIP 9-1-1 require substantial system modification.

by / February 20, 2009

The Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC) has issued its Next Generation 911 Master Plan.

"The current 9-1-1 system, while working well today, is approaching the end of its useful life," says the executive summary, citing "convoluted systems" that "deliver 9-1-1 calls and location data for landline voice, landline teletype/telecommunications device for the deaf (TTY/TDD), wireless/cellular voice, and VoIP 9-1-1 to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)." In addition new technologies require substantial system modification.

The master plan, continues the executive summary, will help communicate the vision of the next-generation 911 system and "charts the course of CSEC initiatives and activities on this extensive, multi-year effort to ensure successful transition."

The transition begins with buildout of IP networks to and between PSAPs, followed by the implementation of the applications that provide next generation functionality. The roles and responsibilities of 9-1-1 stakeholders from PSAPs to state government will likely evolve as NG9-1-1 matures. The new system will require considerable investment, planning and cooperation, continues the document. "The opportunity lies in the ability to enhance a vital public safety service and increase efficiency. The challenge will be to marshal the resources required to effect the change."

Wayne Hanson Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government