Before we talk about next generation 911,it’s important understand how 911 works in today’s network environment. When a station places a 911 call the calling line ID is presented to the local carrier network. In some cases that calling line ID is screened for 911 calls, and converted to the main billing telephone number. This causes a generic address to be displayed to the 911 call taker. Because of this, customer premise solutions that manage the 911 PS-ALI database, are really not providing any value as the station telephone number never makes it to the 911 center. This is a common place where the legacy solutions fall down, as they operate well within their confines, but don’t see the big picture.
In other cases a station may not have a direct outside number, and an invalid or null number may be sent by the PBX. In these cases, the carrier will also insert a main billing number on 911 calls in an attempt to make sure that there routed properly. Once again, since every telephone number has a unique entry in the database, substituting the main billing number on an emergency call also effectively hides any specific station level location that may be associated with the users specific number; and solutions that manage the PS-ALI database cannot fix this problem, as there is no control over the telephone number being sent, or correlation to the station that made the call. These are just two of the primary gotchas that affect customer E911 deployments today; And are the most common causes of customer dissatisfaction in a legacy solution.
Another common problem is remote users. They could be nomadic in a public place like a Starbucks coffee shop, or they could be a remote work at home user. In either case, the 911 problem is actually twofold. Not only is the user’s caller ID irrelevant to their location, but the PBX may not have trunks that service the local 911 network where the user is located. This is especially true for users that are located in another state, but could be applicable to users in the next town over depending on the local 911 service geography. We will deal with remote routing of 911 calls later in the presentation, but for now, let’s concentrate on location discovery and notification.
For buildings that are not staffed 24 hours a day by security or a receptionist, this same information can be provided to a low-cost flat screen panel located in the lobby of the building that is available to public safety responders 24 hours a day. In many cases this proves to be a low-cost solution that is already in sync with fire alarm panel operational procedures.
When we look at enterprise data networks, and how we are going to feed our information into the next generation 911 network which is known as the emergency services IP network or ESINet.The NENAi3NG 911 standard allows for the conveyance of additional information. In simple terms, the enterprise is merely a repository for additional location data that is queried in real time by the public safety agency. Should an enterprise network, not wish to place that information in an open DMZ, or the 911 center doesn’t want an open Internet connection in their facility, there are companies that are providing data aggregation services such as smart 911 that help bridge that gap. This is one reason why the question “does NG 911 exist today?” becomes irrelevant. Why? Because this over the top model allows for technology to deliver detailed information out of band, and directly to the agency that needs the information. Additionally, when next-generation 911 does become a reality, the very same equipment within the enterprise will be feeding the location information in real time within the SIP header. We’re on the verge of this technology being deployed in many areas across the US. Major cities like Washington DC, Nashville, King County Washington and nearly 1000 others are using the smart 911 solution today. From an enterprise perspective, any 911 solution you deploy should have a definitive roadmap for this NG 911 architecture and conveyance of information. Anything that does not might very quickly become a doorstop in the near future. D
Because we are delivering detailed location information via SIP with the call . . . .ANI and ALI databases are NO LONGER REQUIRED when the originating endpoint or the PBX they are attached too is capable of sending contextual information and references to additional data like:FloorplansEnvironmental DataVideo FeedsHazMat Material Safety Data SheetsPersonal Medical Information (if the user allows)Whatever solution you buy today, must be ready to take on this new role in the future. Don’t buy legacy ‘fire sale’ technology
Lehigh Carbon NG911 / E911 Review
Roadmap to campus safety
Mark J. Fletcher, ENP
Worldwide Public Safety Solutions