911 & FirstNet
Two important upgrades are underway to improve emergency communication – Next Generation 911 (NG911) and the development of a public safety broadband network by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). These two systems, though being built separately, are envisioned to work together to deliver access to public safety that today’s consumers expect.
The nation’s 911 systems have not kept up with today’s digital technological advances. Most public safety answering points (PSAPs) still use legacy 911 copper landline technology that is increasingly difficult and costly to maintain. First responder communication is largely based on land mobile radio technology and as of now, data from the public cannot seamlessly move across the public safety communications infrastructure – from the public to the PSAP to the first responders.
Emergency communications experts agree that 911 systems must transition to NG911, a digital system that accepts both traditional landline emergency calls and data-based notifications such as video and images. FirstNet will transition first responder communication from a voice-only system to a broadband LTE wireless network.
NG911 & FirstNet Guide for State & Local Authorities
A variety of resources – including a publication, infographics and articles - are available to help explain what NG911 and FirstNet are, and how public safety will benefit from the two systems. Click below to access all of the materials.