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New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act

New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act

Editor: Access to 911 emergency services has improved over the years, as the call centers have added technology to accommodate various ways of communicating. There’s now a movement afoot to make it even more accessible and to move the whole system to the IP network, which offers significantly expanded capabilities. It’s all laid out very well in this NENA press release.


June 2008

National Emergency Number Association Applauds Passage of the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (HR 3403)

Arlington, V.A. – Yesterday the United States Senate passed the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (HR 3403). The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) applauds the passage of this critical legislation. NENA CEO Brian Fontes said, “The NET 911 Improvement Act will improve access to 9-1-1 for all Americans and help ensure that our nation’s 9-1-1 system is able to keep up with advancements in communications technology. This legislation will save lives.”

“NENA wishes to express our gratitude to the sponsors of this legislation. In particular, we wish to thank the tireless efforts of Senator Bill Nelson, E9-1-1 Caucus Co-chairs Senators Ted Stevens and Hillary Clinton, fellow co-sponsors Senators Olympia Snowe and Frank Lautenberg, and Commerce Committee Chairman Senator Daniel Inouye, along with their dedicated staff, who worked tirelessly to ensure the passage of the legislation,” added Fontes.

Making 9-1-1 service available and effective for all Americans today and in the future as technology advances is a top priority for NENA. Ensuring that emerging technologies are able to seamlessly connect to the 9-1-1 system and that we as a nation are taking steps to advance towards a Next Generation 9-1-1 and emergency communications system must be a national priority. NENA remains focused on the need for continued deployment of E9-1-1 for all technologies, the need for appropriate liability protections for 9-1-1 telecommunicators and service providers, and the need to ensure adequate funding is available for today’s 9-1-1 system as well as the migration to an IP-based Next Generation 9-1-1 system. The New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act is a step in the right direction to make these important priorities a reality.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill later this week. NENA urges the House to follow the lead of the Senate and pass the legislation so that it can be presented to the President and signed into law.


About the National Emergency Number Association

NENA is The Voice of 9-1-1T. NENA promotes implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 as North America’s universal emergency number. NENA is the leading professional non-profit organization dedicated solely to 9-1-1 emergency communications issues. NENA serves its nearly 7,000 members in 48 chapters across the U.S., Canada and Mexico through policy advocacy, establishment of technical and operational standards, certification programs and a broad spectrum of educational offerings. Find out more at www.nena.org.

To see the full text of the bill, go to http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-3403.

In part, the bill requires the development of:

. . . a national plan for migrating to a national IP-enabled emergency network capable of receiving and responding to all citizen-activated emergency communications and improving information sharing among all emergency response entities.

‘(2) CONTENTS OF PLAN- The plan required by paragraph (1) shall–

‘(A) outline the potential benefits of such a migration;

‘(B) identify barriers that must be overcome and funding mechanisms to address those barriers;

‘(C) provide specific mechanisms for ensuring the IP-enabled emergency network is available in every community and is coordinated on a local, regional, and statewide basis;

‘(D) identify location technology for nomadic devices and for office buildings and multi-dwelling units;

‘(E) include a proposed timetable, an outline of costs, and potential savings;

‘(F) provide specific legislative language, if necessary, for achieving the plan;

‘(G) provide recommendations on any legislative changes, including updating definitions, that are necessary to facilitate a national IP-enabled emergency network;

‘(H) assess, collect, and analyze the experiences of the public safety answering points and related public safety authorities who are conducting trial deployments of IP-enabled emergency networks as of the date of enactment of the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008;

‘(I) identify solutions for providing 9-1-1 and enhanced 9-1-1 access to those with disabilities and needed steps to implement such solutions, including a recommended timeline; and

‘(J) analyze efforts to provide automatic location for enhanced 9-1-1 services and provide recommendations on regulatory or legislative changes that are necessary to achieve automatic location for enhanced 9-1-1 services.

‘(3) CONSULTATION- In developing the plan required by paragraph (1), the Office shall consult with representatives of the public safety community, groups representing those with disabilities, technology and telecommunications providers, IP-enabled voice service providers, Telecommunications Relay Service providers, and other emergency communications providers and others it deems appropriate.’. . . .