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911 Connects

911 Program Begins Study on Next Generation 911 Costs

Published Feb 2016

As consumer technology evolves – from landline to cellular and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology – 911 funding models may become insufficient to maintain the legacy 911 system, let alone support the implementation of Next Generation 911 (NG911).

Recognizing the need for comprehensive 911 system funding reform in order to help 911 evolve, the National 911 Program has begun work to develop a report assessing the costs, service requirements and specifications needed for NG911.

“The expected future of 911 services is a model where the public can send texts, photos and video to 911, which can then be shared with other PSAPs and/or emergency responders in real time. That expanded model will also broaden the technical, operational, and funding requirements of the 911 system,” said Laurie Flaherty, Coordinator of the National 911 Program. “As a result, a comprehensive reexamination of the specifications, requirements and costs for NG911 networks and services is necessary.”

The report was requested by Congress “to serve as a resource… as [Congress] considers creating a coordinated, long-term, funding mechanism for the deployment and operation, accessibility, application development, equipment procurement, and training of personnel for Next Generation 911 services.”

The National 911 Program, along with Federal partners at DHS, FCC and NTIA, will work with Mission Critical Partners, a public safety and emergency communications consulting firm, and Booz Allen Hamilton, a technology consulting and engineering services firm, to gather and analyze information from the 911 stakeholder community to address the focal areas of the report, including:

  • How costs would be broken out geographically and allocated among PSAPs, broadband service providers, and third-party providers of NG911 services

  • An assessment of the current state of NG911 service readiness among PSAPs

  • How differences in PSAP access to broadband across the U.S. may affect costs

  • A technical analysis and cost study of different delivery platforms, such as wireline, wireless and satellite

  • An analysis of the needs for NG911 services of persons with disabilities

The next step for the 911 Program and supporting partners is to seek relevant information from the 911 stakeholder community. The report is expected to be completed in the next two years. For more information on the NG911 cost study, or to provide cost information, please contact Mr. Gordon VanAuken at