The Mission-Critical Resource Center

MCP Gives Lower Rio Grande Development Council Peace of Mind About Its Communications Network

In Summary:

  • The Lower Rio Grande Development Council, which is a voluntary association of local governments formed under Texas law as one of the state's 24 regional councils of governments (COGs), serves the region's counties by delivering 911 emergency calls to 18 emergency communications centers (ECCs).
  • They operate a Internet Protocol (IP)-based network is generally more vulnerable to outages compared to legacy networks and systems.
  • The Council turned to Mission Critical Partners in 2019 to help diminish the risk of network/system failures and keep the 911 network and its supporting systems operating optimally by providing network management and monitoring services.

Background: 

The Lower Rio Grande Valley region comprises the southern tip of Texas and consists of three counties—Cameron, Hidilgo, and Willacy. The region has a population of about 1.3 million. The Lower Rio Grande Development Council, which is a voluntary association of local governments formed under Texas law as one of the state's 24 regional councils of governments (COGs), serves the region's counties by delivering 911 emergency calls to 18 emergency communications centers (ECCs). The ECCs provide call-taking and/or dispatching services to area police departments, fire/rescue departments, emergency medical services (EMS) agencies and the sheriff's office.

The Challenge:

Their call-handling system delivers about 1,400 emergency calls daily, and about 41,000 monthly, to the ECCs it serves, which are transported via a wide area network supported by fiber-optic facilities. Fiber cuts occur often in the region. Consquently, the mission-critical communications network has been configured to automatically failover to the backup. If this doesn't occur, the Council's ability to deliver 911 calls would be compromised.

The Council contracted with a third-party network operations center (NOC) to monitor the network and mitigate issues when they occurred, but the performance was insufficient. The Council reached out to Mission Critical Partners for support.

The Solution:

The Council looked to Mission Critical Partners to diminish the risk of network/system failures and to keep the 911 network and its supporting systems operating optimally. The work is provided under MCP's NetPulse network monitoring support services. The specific elements of network management MCP is providing the council include:

  • Establishing a secure network/system management environment
  • Configuring the network/system management environment
  • Preparing the network and related systems for monitoring
  • Providing project management and ongoing support of the network/system monitoring services
  • Provide tier-one incident support services iva an MCP-managed NOC

The Results:

The level of monitoring provided by MCP, and the resultant data, has provided the Council with unprecedented visiblity into the council's communciation network, which in turn has enabled him to troubleshoot problems faster, and in many cases, prevent them from happening. Also available now is real-time data that can be leveraged to predict events before they occur; MCP also proactively resolves most events without the Council's involvement.

"I understand now what a NOC is and what it is supposed to do," says Hector Chapa, Lower Rio Grande Development Council, program supervisor III, said. "And because of the NetPulse service, we're doing things that we couldn't imagine before. This engagement is giving us peace of mind—and we're very happy."

To learn more about the project, download it using the form below.