Intrado Announces Next-Generation 9-1-1 System
Intrado Commends FCC for Leadership in Next-Generation 9-1-1
Wide Range of Advanced Life-Saving Applications Will Help 9-1-1 Centers Make U.S. Communities Safer
On Tuesday, December 21, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking public input on how to transition the current, voice-only 9-1-1 system to broadband-enabled, next-generation 9-1-1. This transition, aligned with the recommended National Broadband Plan, would revolutionize 9-1-1 service by enabling the public and 9-1-1 call centers to harness the life-saving potential of text, photos and videos in emergency situations.
“Intrado commends the FCC’s progressive leadership in the transition to next-generation 9-1-1 systems,” said Craig Donaldson, Senior Vice President for Intrado. “Life-saving next-generation 9-1-1 networks can be deployed using a practical migration path from the existing legacy networks, and are designed to keep pace with today’s rapidly changing consumer communication technology and telecommunications systems.”
Next-generation 9-1-1 will help public safety agencies meet the increasing expectations from their communities and the citizens’ needs to transmit critical information via text, photos or videos. Intrado believes that voice calls should continue to be the primary means for contacting 9-1-1 Centers in emergencies. However, to meet the needs of all citizens, particularly the millions who are deaf or hearing impaired, or individuals in situations where speaking may endanger their safety, the ability to send an emergency text message to 9-1-1 is imperative.
The technology to make advancements to 9-1-1 is available today and does not require a major network overhaul or heavy capital outlay. For example, the ability to send emergency text messages via short message service (SMS) has been commercially available for more than a year, and is currently deployed in Black Hawk County, Iowa. Wireless operators can adopt this important 9-1-1 feature with forward compatibility into 4G networks.
“There’s strong interest from wireless carriers waiting to deploy emergency text messaging solutions once the 9-1-1 Centers upgrade their facilities,” said Dami Hummel, Vice President and General Manager of the Intrado Mobility Division. “Emergency text messaging is one of a broad set of advanced life-saving features that next-generation 9-1-1 enables. There are many others that also can be implemented today, including the ability to send photos, videos, building floor plans and additional critical information to aid public safety agencies and first responders.”
Intrado looks forward to working with both the FCC and Congress to ensure our nation’s citizens continue to have access to emergency services, irrespective of the technology employed.
In business for more than 30 years, Intrado, a subsidiary of West Corporation, has maintained a focus and passion for saving lives and supporting the needs of public safety. Agencies and telecommunication services providers throughout the world depend on Intrado for emergency communication services and technology. Products and services offered include emergency 9-1-1 voice call delivery, comprehensive data management, advanced call routing, emergency location and integrated call handling technologies. Intrado’s dedicated focus on emergency communications technology allows the company to continue pioneering network innovations that save lives and improve emergency response.