August 12, 2011 By News Report
"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency." -- FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (pictured)
At the 2011 Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference in Philadelphia, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski this week announced his five-step action plan to chart the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) services.
Working with the public safety community, carriers, manufacturers and other service providers, Genachowski's goal is to ensure that effective emergency response is a critical element of the broadband environment. Under the five-step action plan, the FCC will:
to provide technical expertise and develop a coordinated approach to NG911 governance,
Next month, the FCC is expected to launch a rulemaking to consider how to accelerate NG911 adoption to help answer practical, technical questions about how to enable text, photo, and video transmission to 911, including how to ensure adequate broadband infrastructure to deliver the bandwidth PSAPs will need to provide NG911. As part of the proceeding, the FCC will examine interim solutions for ensuring that carriers and service providers support transmission of text-to-911.
"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed," said Genachowski in a release, "but you can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency. The unfortunate truth is that the capability of our emergency response communications has not kept pace with commercial innovation has not kept pace with what ordinary people now do every day with communications devices. The shift to NG911 can't be about if, but about when and how."
NG911 supports seamless, end-to-end IP-based communication of emergency-related voice, text, data, photos, and video between the public and public safety answering points. NG911 systems will continue to support the legacy 911 system on a transitional basis for as long as is necessary.
The announcement builds on Genachowski's strong public safety agenda, including launching of Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN), strengthening the FCC's existing enhanced E-911 location accuracy rules, laying the groundwork for a nationwide, interoperable public safety network and granting waivers to build out the public safety network.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.