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Just Released: High-Level Overview of How NG9-1-1 Will Work with FirstNet


The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) has released a report that offers an overview of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (FirstNet) and Next Generation 9‐1‐1 (NG9‐1‐1) networks—examining the similarities and differences, and the interconnectivity between the two networks.

FirstNet and Next Generation 9-1-1: High-Level Overview of Systems and Functionality provides insight into the relationship between NG9-1-1 and FirstNet, by describing the capabilities of each network and of where each network will be used.

When complete, FirstNet will provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety. Agencies will be able to exchange information across jurisdictional and disciplinary boundaries, from virtually any location, using a wide variety of mobile devices.

The NG9-1-1 initiative, meanwhile, is aimed at updating the 9-1-1 service infrastructure to improve public safety communications services. In addition to calling 9-1-1 from a phone, it intends to enable the public to transmit text, images, video and data to the 9-1-1 center (referred to as a Public Safety Answering Point, or PSAP).

Currently, there is work on standards to ensure that these separate networks can communicate with each other in a secure and efficient manner. The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) worked together to create a standard Emergency Incident Data Document (EIDD) to support implementation of NG9-1-1. The industry-neutral, NIEM-conformant EIDD standard will enable public safety agencies to exchange emergency incident information with other agencies and regions that implement NG9-1-1 and IP-based emergency communications systems.

SEARCH supported the efforts of the NENA/APCO Working Group to develop the EIDD, and APCO is shepherding it through the American National Standard (ANS) process to formally bless it as the official standard for exchanging incident information between PSAPs.

SEARCH is also represented on the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), which provides input and expertise to the FirstNet Board as it works to build, deploy, and operate the nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network.

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