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The Future of 911

For more than 40 years, 911 systems have served the needs of the public in emergencies. As communication technologies have evolved to include wireless phones, text and picture messaging, video chat, social media, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices and more, the public expects that 911 services will also be able to accept information from these communication methods.

While efforts are underway across the nation to enable call centers to accept text messages, the future success of 911 in serving the public's needs will be greatly improved when 911 has transitioned to an Internet Protocol (IP)-based 911 system, commonly referred to as Next Generation 911, or NG911.

NG911 will enhance emergency number services to create a faster, more resilient system that allows digital information (e.g., voice, photos, videos, text messages) to flow seamlessly from the public, through the 911 network and eventually, directly to first responders. It will also enable 911 call centers to transfer 911 calls to other call centers, and help them deal with call overload, disasters, and day-to-day transfer of 911 calls to other jurisdictions.

Click here to download a copy of the NG911 video.

While the technology to implement these new IP-based 911 systems is available now, the transition to NG911 will involve much more than just new computer hardware and software. Implementing NG911 in states and counties nationwide will require the coordination of a variety of emergency communication, public safety, legislative and governing entities.

The National 911 Program supports the effort of jurisdictions at all levels of government as they consider the transition to NG911. For more information about the tools and resources available for the planning and transition to NG911, visit the Program Initiatives or the 911.gov Resource Center. Learn more about NG911 implementation in your state or region from the National 911 Progress Report.

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