The Mission-Critical Resource Center

The Technical Evolution of the PSAP in a NG911 and Public Safety Broadband Environment

In Summary:

  • Data inputs that stream into a public safety answering point (PSAP) are increasing significantly, driven by the fact that public safety broadband and next generation 911 systems are Internet Protocol (IP)-based.

  • This will raise situational awareness in the PSAP to levels unimaginable only a short time ago.

  • Public safety broadband and NG911 must be converged for data to flow seamlessly between these two networks in order to be fully harnessed.


When public safety broadband networks, such as the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network being implemented under the auspices of the First Responder Network Authority, and Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems are implemented, responding to emergency events will be dramatically different than it is today for the public safety community. Today, the amount of information that telecommunicators and first responders have is severely limited. In the future, the data inputs that data inputs that stream into a public safety answering point (PSAP) are increasing significantly, driven by the fact that public safety broadband and next generation 911 systems are Internet Protocol (IP)-based.

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The Nationwide NG911 Transition Requires State-Level Coordination and Vision

In Summary:

  • Today's legacy public safety communications systems are ill-suited to handle this increased data flow.

  • States that are making the most progress towards NG911 adoption share two main characteristics: strong statewide coordination and a statewide 911 strategic plan.

  • There are eight key areas that 911 state leaders should evaluate to identify potential deficiencies of a statewide 911 program.

Next Generation 911 (NG911) represents a significant leap forward for the emergency response sector primarily because it will deliver dramatically improved situational awareness to telecommunicators and field personnel. But the transition from legacy technology to NG911 is a difficult undertaking, especially when states try to go it alone. NG911 will require that state 911 authorities establish an effective leadership structure and then develop a comprehensive strategic plan to execute the migration.

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Next Generation 911: A Mission-Critical Transformation for Today's 911 System

In Summary:

  • Public safety communications is beginning to implement modern solutions to improve outcomes for 911 callers.

  • Next gen 911 is a standards-based, all IP emergency communications infrastructure that enables voice and multimedia 911 communications.

  • Failing to implement NG911 in a timely manner will increase costs, risk incompatibility with emerging communication trends and increase security risk for the 911 community. 

Today, access to 911 for most is limited to a voice call; in contrast, Next Gen 911 will enable the ability to transmit photos, videos and other existing and future forms of broadband-enabled data, in addition to voice, to 911 professionals. A coordinated approach must be adopted in the transition to Next Gen 911 to avoid a patchwork deployment and limited interoperability with neighboring agencies. 

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