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September 20, 2022

The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition has released an updated NG9-1-1 Fact Sheet and has provided an advocacy update

On July 27, H.R. 7624, the Spectrum Innovation Act, passed the House of Representatives following a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Title III of the Act addresses Next Generation 9-1-1 and contains the provisions establishing a much-needed federal grant program developed and agreed to by the Coalition, iCERT, NENA, and NASNA.

Our attention is now directed at the Senate, where our priorities are (1) preserve the House-negotiated and widely supported NG9-1-1 language, (2) fully fund NG9-1-1 at $15B to avoid have and have-nots, particularly in rural areas, and (3) provide the grant agency, NTIA, with sufficient borrowing authority to begin the grant program immediately rather than waiting until auction revenues become available.

Given that NG9-1-1 funding legislation is at this advanced stage in Congress, we provide below important facts about the legislation and its goals.

FACT: Public safety’s comprehensive vision for Next Generation 9-1-1 has not yet been achieved anywhere in the United States.

It is simply incorrect for anyone to claim that NG9-1-1 has been successfully deployed anywhere in the country. NG9-1-1, defined in a comprehensive manner (consistent with pending federal funding legislation), means Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) can receive, process, and analyze all types of 9-1-1 requests for emergency assistance (including photos, data, video) and seamlessly exchange relevant information with other ECCs and emergency responders. ESInets and Next Generation Core Services are only part of a full NG9-1-1 deployment, and many have involved limited to no interoperability, excessive costs, and undue delays. A limited vision of what NG9-1-1 entails has led to multiple problems. For example, focusing only on the call-delivery elements of NG9-1-1 means missing the benefits of a total solution needing enhancements to CAD and dispatch functions.

FACT: 9-1-1 and NG9-1-1 are locally controlled and operated.

Every 9-1-1 call, and future NG9-1-1 request for emergency assistance, is local in nature. The grant program is for the benefit of ECCs and is intended to meet their requirements. ECCs play a primary role in specifying and implementing precursor NG9-1-1 technologies and will carry that role through full NG9-1-1 deployments. The ultimate responsibility for responding to the public’s need for emergency assistance rests with local ECC personnel. Some states have offices with varying degrees of authority and jurisdiction that are typically focused on the delivery of 9-1-1 calls to ECCs. The legislation does not vest any new authority upon state offices. Instead, the legislation requires state-level bodies to serve the limited purpose of coordinators to develop NG9-1-1 plans following a full opportunity for input from local 9-1-1 and other public safety agencies.

FACT: ESInets and 9-1-1 equipment lack interoperability, an unacceptable situation that is the responsibility of the vendors to solve.

Vendors deploy legacy and precursor technology deployments with proprietary elements that impede interoperability and saddle ECC directors with extensive delays and additional costs. Interoperability is a fundamental public safety requirement. It is the responsibility of the vendor community, not public safety or federal agencies (using public funds), to solve interoperability. Nothing prevents any vendor from deciding today to begin making its equipment and services interoperable with other vendors’ products.

FACT: To best ensure that NG9-1-1 is fully deployed across the country, including in rural areas, at least $15B is needed.

Our conclusion that at least $15B is needed to fully fund NG9-1-1 is based on a prior congressionally mandated study published in 2018. Using cost data dating back to prior years, the study estimated the cost to be up to $12.7B. Accounting for cost increases and additional cybersecurity and training requirements, providing less than $15B will result in cybersecurity vulnerabilities and a patchwork of have and have not communities, with rural areas most likely to fall behind.

FACT: NG9-1-1 grant program development needs input from public safety professionals.

For a federal grant program of the scale and importance called for in transitioning the nation to NG9-1-1, the development of the right program requirements, grant guidance, and application criteria are essential. If pending NG9-1-1 legislation is passed, 9-1-1 professionals and other public safety practitioners with 9-1-1 expertise will provide a variety of recommendations through an Advisory Board regarding the importance of deploying NG9-1-1 in both rural and urban areas, ensuring flexibility for technology improvements, the value of creating efficiencies, the value of enabling effective coordination among government entities, and the relevance of existing cybersecurity resources to NG9-1-1 procurement and deployment.

FACT: NG9-1-1 deployment will be a high visibility target to intrusion and disruption by criminal elements that calls for a new nationwide approach to cybersecurity in addition to state and local level protections.

Disrupting the ability of the public to reach emergency services through a cyberattack can endanger the lives and property of those attempting to reach help, as well as the safety of 9-1-1 professionals and first responders. The pending NG9-1-1 legislation makes cybersecurity a priority and would establish a fully operational, first-of-its-kind Next Generation 9-1-1 cybersecurity center to coordinate with state, local, and regional governments on the sharing of cybersecurity information about, the analysis of cybersecurity threats to, and guidelines for strategies to detect and prevent cybersecurity intrusions specific to NG9-1-1.

FACT: The pending NG9-1-1 legislation would preserve and build upon prior investments.

The legislation will not only help maximize the investments already made in precursor NG9-1-1 deployments such as ESInets, but accelerate them through adaptations that ensure they are interoperable, multimedia capable, and extend beyond call-delivery to complete end-to-end NG9-1-1 solutions.

FACT: The substantive provisions of the House-passed NG9-1-1 funding legislation, H.R. 7624, resulted from successful bipartisan negotiations involving the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, iCERT, NENA, and NASNA.

Over the course of several months, bipartisan staff from the House Energy and Commerce Committee convened major public safety stakeholders to negotiate final legislative language. This involved representatives of the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, iCERT, NENA, and NASNA. The negotiations were successful, and the bill passed the committee on a unanimous bipartisan basis.

FACT: Public Safety Telecommunicators will need important new skills and additional training.

Public Safety Telecommunicators (PSTs) demonstrate a unique set of knowledge, skills, and abilities in performing their life-saving roles. In an NG9-1-1 environment, however, PSTs will need to manage many new forms of multimedia and data as well as new technologies. Provisions within the House-passed NG9-1-1 legislation would ensure funding is available for necessary training for PSTs to meet the demands of an NG9-1-1 environment.

FOR REFERENCE – KEY DEFINITIONS IN H.R. 7624

NEXT GENERATION 9–1–1.—The term ‘Next Generation 9–1–1’ means an Internet Protocol-based system that—

(A) ensures interoperability;

(B) is secure;

(C) employs commonly accepted standards;

(D) enables emergency communications centers to receive, process, and analyze all types of 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance;

(E) acquires and integrates additional information useful to handling 9–1–1 requests for  emergency assistance; and

(F) supports sharing information related to 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance among emergency communications centers and emergency response providers.

INTEROPERABILITY.—The term ‘interoperability’ means the capability of emergency communications centers to receive 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and information and data related to such requests, such as location information and call back numbers from a person initiating the request, then process and share the 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and information and data related to such requests with other emergency communications centers and emergency response providers without the need for proprietary interfaces and regardless of jurisdiction, equipment, device, software, service provider, or other relevant factors.

COMMONLY ACCEPTED STANDARDS. —The term ‘commonly accepted standards’ means the technical standards followed by the communications industry for network, device, and Internet Protocol connectivity that—

(A) enable interoperability; and

(B) are

(i) developed and approved by a standards development organization that is accredited by an American standards body (such as the American National Standards Institute) or an equivalent international standards body in a process—

(I) that is open to the public, including open for participation by any person; and

(II) provides for a conflict resolution process;

(ii) subject to an open comment and input process before being finalized by the standards development organization;

(iii) consensus-based; and

(iv) made publicly available once approved.

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS CENTER.

(A) IN GENERAL. —The term ‘emergency communications center’ means—

(i) a facility that—

(I) is designated to receive a 9–1–1 request for emergency assistance; and

(II) performs one or more of the functions described in subparagraph (B); or

(ii) a public safety answering point, as defined in section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 222).

(B) FUNCTIONS DESCRIBED. —The functions described in this subparagraph are the following:

(i) Processing and analyzing 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and information and data related to such requests.

(ii) Dispatching appropriate emergency response providers.

(iii) Transferring or exchanging 9–1–1 requests for emergency assistance and information and data related to such requests with one or more other emergency communications centers and emergency response providers.

(iv) Analyzing any communications received from emergency response providers.

(v) Supporting incident command functions.

9–1–1 REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE. —The term ‘9–1–1 request for emergency assistance’ means a communication, such as voice, text, picture, multimedia, or any other type of data that is sent to an emergency communications center for the purpose of requesting emergency assistance.

Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Sends Letter to Senate Leadership to Ensure NG9-1-1 is Fully Funded

It’s Time to Upgrade 9-1-1, the Most Critical of Critical Infrastructure

Editorial

Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald, Fire Chief Paul Stueben, EMS Chief Kevin McGinnis, APCOInternational CEO Derek Poarch

Law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 9-1-1 professionals handle over 240 million emergency 9-1-1 calls per year. Our 9-1-1 system is the most critical of critical infrastructure – relied upon nationwide every day to obtain assistance in a variety of life-or-death situations. Unfortunately, 9-1-1 networks across the United States have not kept up with advances in communications technology and, in large part, are based upon technology dating back to the 1960s and limited to voice calls and some texting.

Read more

BREAKING NEWS 

February 24, 2022

Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Applauds FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s Call for Funding Next Generation 9-1-1

Washington, D.C. -On Tuesday, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel called on Congress to fund Next Generation 9-1-1 via spectrum auction revenues when it reauthorizes the FCC’s auction authority by September 30th of this year. In the Chairwoman’s words, we should leverage “next generation spectrum for Next Generation 9-1-1.”


The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition, which is comprised of many of the nation’s leading law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 9-1-1 associations, could not agree more with Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s view that it is time to remake 9-1-1 systems for the digital age. Coalition Leader Captain Mel Maier said “we applaud Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s continued leadership in public safety communications and her support of our coalition’s goal to enact legislation that sufficiently funds Next Generation 9-1-1 in an interoperable, reliable, and secure manner. We will continue our efforts to press Congress to use an appropriate legislative vehicle, including FCC spectrum auction reauthorization as the Chairwoman suggests, to dramatically improve emergency response for the safety of the American public.”

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February 8, 2022

Nationwide Public Safety Associations Meet in Washington D.C. to Advance Next Generation 9-1-1 Legislation

Washington, D.C. -Friday, February 4, 2022 representatives from many of the nation’s leading public safety organizations- Major County Sheriffs of America, Major Cities Chiefs Association, National Sheriffs Association, The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Fire Chiefs, Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, National Association of State EMS Officials and the Fraternal Order of Police, met to hear from Administration officials and Members of Congress, and chart a new legislative strategy to accomplish a once in a generation, lifesaving investment into America’s 9-1-1 systems.
The Coalition was addressed by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, NTIA Associate Administrator Evelyn Remaley, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Representative Frank Pallone, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Representative Robert Latta. We are grateful for their active participation in our in-person event.
Our nation’s 9-1-1 system is in desperate need of investment. Congress has spent tens of billions of dollars to address the “broadband gap” for homes, businesses, schools, and libraries. Yet, without investing in 9-1-1, these new broadband capabilities available to the public will mean little during an emergency. Modernizing 9-1-1 and delivering lifesaving broadband technology for emergencies must become a national priority.

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November 19, 2021

Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition supports inclusion of NG 9-1-1 in the Build Back Better Act but recognizes the risk in the current lack of funding

Washington, D.C. – While the version of the Build Back Better Act that passed the House of Representatives today includes helpful language regarding NG9-1-1, the funding level is woefully inadequate to achieve meaningful nationwide implementation. Congress has otherwise provided significant broadband funding for nearly everything but emergency communications – the most critical of critical infrastructure. This will only widen the gap between the technology that is available to the public at their homes, businesses, schools, and libraries, and today’s antiquated 9-1-1 system.

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September 14, 2021

Nation’s Leading Public Safety Associations Applaud Inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 Legislation in House Budget Reconciliation Package

Washington, D.C. – Last night, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 legislation in its Budget Reconciliation package. The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition thanks Chairman Frank Pallone, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Anna Eshoo for championing this once-in-a-generation investment in critical public safety infrastructure. The Coalition is also grateful to the many members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee who have expressed support for this needed upgrade of 9-1-1 services throughout the country.

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March 18, 2021

Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition Launches Major Grassroots Campaign

On the heels of the introduction of important legislation to fund the modernization of the nation’s 9-1-1 systems to Next Generation 9-1-1, the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition announces the launch of a wide-ranging grassroots campaign to educate policymakers and build additional support.

The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition consists of national public safety associations representing law enforcement, fire, EMS, and 9-1-1 professionals who know best what is needed to modernize 9-1-1 and improve emergency response. The coalition’s website at http://www.ng-911coalition.org contains detailed information including facts and myths about NG9-1-1 legislation.

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March 11, 2021 

Nationwide Public Safety Associations Hail Introduction of Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 as Part of the LIFT America Act

Under the leadership of the Honorable Frank Pallone Jr., Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Honorable Anna Eshoo, Co-Chair, Congressional NextGen9-1-1 Caucus,  the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 has been introduced as part of the LIFT America Act.

The Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition applauds the introduction of the Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2021 as part of the LIFT America Act. The inclusion of Next Generation 9-1-1 in the legislation signals that Congress recognizes the critical importance of upgrading our nation’s outdated, underfunded and technologically inadequate 911 infrastructure.

LIFT America Legislation

Public Safety Next Generation
9-1-1 Coalition

  • Diverse stakeholders representing public safety including fire service, emergency medical service, law enforcement, and 9-1-1 professionals.
  • United behind legislative principles that address the needs and concerns of public safety.
  • The Next Generation 9-1-1 Act of 2019 is the foundation upon which the Coalition will build.

First Principles of the Public Safety
NG9-1-1 Coalition:

  • NG9-1-1 should be technologically and competitively neutral, and use commonly accepted standards that do not lead to proprietary solutions that hamper interoperability, make mutual aid between agencies less effective, limit choices, or increase costs.
  • Development of program requirements, grant guidance, application criteria, and rules regarding NG9-1-1 grants should be guided by an advisory board of public safety practitioners and 9-1-1 professionals.
  • Sufficient funding in the amount of $15 billion to ensure NG9-1-1 is deployed throughout the country in an effective, innovative, and secure manner and to enable NG9-1-1 implementation training nationwide.
  • The process for allocating funds to localities should be efficient, federal overhead costs should be minimized, and grant conditions should not be onerous or extraneous and should be targeted to achieve important objectives including interoperability and sustainability.
  • Cybersecurity of NG9-1-1 systems should be a primary consideration.
  • Incentives for increased efficiency of NG9-1-1 functions, including through shared technology and regional collaboration, should be included.

Members of the Coalition Include:

  • Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA)
  • National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO)
  • International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
  • Major County Sheriffs of America (MCSA)
  • International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC)
  • Association of Public Safety Communications Officials – International (APCO)
  • National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)
  • Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association
  • Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)