NG911 is a nationwide legal movement to replace the outdated emergency communications infrastructure to create a new, standards-based, all-IP emergency communications infrastructure with next-generation functionality.
In 1999 the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act (also known as the 911 Act) was passed in the U.S. The 911 Act mandated the use of Enhanced 911 for both wireline and wireless phones and designated 911 as the universal emergency number.
E911 is a service that automatically displays the phone number and location of a 911 caller on the emergency operator’s screen. Unlike Basic 911, where the caller has to say where he or she is calling from, E911 is crucial in circumstances where the caller cannot communicate his or her location.
NG911 laws, like Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act, require that the transportation of geospatial location, and lifesaving voice and multimedia data from a 911 caller to a 911 center and on to responders in the field be immediate and effortless on the part of the caller.
Advancements in modern communications and collaboration technology have created the need for a more progressive system to access emergency care. While the existing 911 system has been a success for over 30 years, it has reached its limit as technology continues to advance past basic phone calls.
For enterprises, the challenges of collecting and reporting location information can be significant. Today’s highly mobile work force and technologies that allow users to relocate without the intervention of an administrator have placed significant strain on the old analog 911 system and according practices.
E911 laws require that the 911 call be routed to the nearest PSAP for the purpose of sending emergency services to the scene of the incident.
Not only are enterprises mandated by each State government to provide accurate location information for 911 callers, this is an area that continues to evolve with stricter laws and standards as communications and collaboration technologies continue to evolve.
Until now, there has been no unifying law mandating that each multi-line telephone system (MLTS) manufacturer must provide direct-to-911 dialing functionality out-of-the-box. The challenge was that a caller’s location was only available to the extent that the organization hosting the MLTS wished to disclose it. Now business phone systems must provide the following notifications to 911 dispatchers when a 911 call is made:
Signed in 2018, the laws went into effect on February 16, 2020.
Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act advance NG911 by satisfying the location validation function within the infrastructure. They amend the Telecommunications Act of 1934 and 1996, making it easier for anyone calling to be located.
With Kari’s Law now included within the amended Federal Communications Act, the FCC can enforce the rules. Businesses that fail to comply with the law risk fines, and, may be subject to additional penalties for each day they remain non-compliant.
As companies make the switch from on-premise MLTS systems to VoIP and cloud-based, 911 accessibility is easily available with a Next-Gen provider. Though few PSAPs are VoIP-enabled today, it’s where the 911 infrastructure is headed. Partnering with a next-gen provider is how enterprises can prepare.
A business operating a MLTS or cloud service should keep a detailed database of associated location information by building, suite, floor, and room. This will help public safety personnel more easily reach any caller, wherever they may be. A detailed database cuts down on mistakes sending first responders to the right place.
Installers, implementors, managers of NG911 and E911 compliant MLTS systems (i.e., Cisco’s customers/partners) are required to make sure their systems are configured for direct dial 911 calls and capable of delivering dispatchable location. Customers and Partners should engage their legal counsel to determine their specific obligations.
As an NG911 and E911 compliant vendor/manufacturer Cisco is responsible for making sure its MLTS solutions are pre-configured to support direct dial 911 calls.
NG911 allows consumers to connect to 911 service in the easiest and most efficient way—whatever is most natural. But more than that, it is important for enterprises to adapt to NG911 for public safety and from regulatory standpoints.
In addition to alignment with the NENA vision of 911, we provide communications and collaboration solutions that are:
Consumers expect that their 911 calls will go through. They also expect that modern phone systems will support all commonly used forms of communication. Cisco is dedicated to accelerating the implementation of NG911 initiatives and will continue to increase compatibility with current and emerging communication technologies.
Cisco Unified Communications Solutions are some of the industry’s most reliable during disasters, making it easier to mitigate outages, reduce vulnerabilities, and allow for better call routing, all of which lead to improved outcomes in an emergency.
With the implementation of Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act, Cisco calling solutions will improve employee and the public’s access to emergency response services by allowing 911 centers to exchange data immediately with your MLTS, which serves to speed up call processing, enhance situational awareness for all parties, and increase employee and responder safety.
Learn more about Cisco products and solutions related to NG911.