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Archive for the ‘FCC’ Category

Next Gen 9-1-1 roll out depends on sharing information

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Almost all providers of software in the NG9-1-1 industry, while committed to interoperability and adherence to standards, are in the end only responsible for and therefore dedicated to the quality of their own products and services. The 9-1-1 ecosystem is broader than the NG9-1-1 core and PSAP premises components. The firms who are 9-1-1 SSPs for NG 911 deployments, have realized the need to monitor all components of the multi-vendor platforms that they place onto the ESInet, and encouragingly in some cases, the ESInet itself is included in that monitoring. However, the ecosystem, both in the case of legacy E9-1-1 and Next Generation 9-1-1, is broader. It includes equipment, software and the underlying network transport, power and other services that support all phases of 9-1-1 call management, from call origination, to database service providers, and on to the PSAPs for dispatch to the First Responders.

The evolving NG 9-1-1 industry has challenges and opportunities with Reliability and Quality of Service. Parties who share in the end to end network service quality can benefit from real time information sharing between parties on a limited basis. The FCC sees this as a critical area to which attention must be given. At recent IEEE CQR Workshop in Charleston, S.C., Admiral David Simpson mentioned this in his keynote speech as prominently as the need to improve indoor location accuracy. Vendors and Systems Integrators in this space were asked to accept this challenge. At Assure911, that is the focus of our work.

There are specific trends that are interrelated here – on one hand, primary 9-1-1 SSPs are looking to reduce costs. Traditional large carriers 9-1-1 SSPs are transitioning to the role of subcontractor, providing underlying network infrastructure and in some cases looking to reduce their 9-1-1 SSP roles. New 9-1-1 service providers intent on supplying outsourced services as well as those providers intent on taking over the role of primary must succeed in maintaining not only the reality of reliability, but the perception as well. The progress of the national roll out of Next Generation 9-1-1 depends on their success.

An impressive definition of the perception of reliability was expressed by a town manager who said that people in his jurisdiction, upon encountering someone bleeding, would take the time to dial 9-1-1 first, and only attend to the injured person after that. The expectation of success in obtaining necessary assistance in a rapid manner is so high that people don’t hesitate to leave someone to bleed a few more moments while investing the time to make the call. That is a perception that might be hard to match, but it should be the goal. It is the bar set by the success of the existing legacy infrastructure and the ability of the 9-1-1 SSP in that area to operate it reliably.

We look forward to helping the 9-1-1 industry achieve such a high level of reliability in both perception and reality.

9-1-1 Outages Prove the Need for the End-to-End View

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in which they discuss the architecture and ownership of our nation’s 9-1-1 services.  With the increasingly shared responsibility for the path between callers and the PSAP the FCC expresses concern that recent server outages are due to a lack of collaboration and missed opportunities to share information.  The fear is that their advocacy for reliable 9-1-1 service nationwide is not being taken seriously.

The document, FCC 14-186, gives the strongest arguments for real-time monitoring of the end-to-end network path that has ever been expressed by the commission.

“Our goal of proactive, measured accountability for reliable 911 call completion extends from the provision of service to the 911 caller at one end to the provision of service to the PSAP on the other.” FCC 14-186A1, Paragraph 7, Page 4

Since we at Assure911.net, LLC have been speaking publicly about this very topic from the time of our launch as a start-up several years ago, we could not be more gratified that the commission has adopted precisely the type of policy that we have always believed was needed to get the industry to the level of reliability that we know can be achieved.  Our partners have been speaking on this topic and developing solutions in this space even before we formed ourselves as an a start-up LLC.

Several of my earlier blog posts provide our opinion on this topic.  Many of the presentations available on this website have detail that explains what setting up end-to-end monitoring means to service providers. My most recent presentation can be viewed here.

We will be providing comments on this NPRM, as we have done in the past, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to talk about something so near and dear to our hearts.

FCC Proposes to Improve 9-1-1 Reliability

Friday, March 29th, 2013

The FCC has acted on the subject of 9-1-1 Reliability.  On March 20, 2013 the commission issued a document describing key areas where the Public Safety infrastructure can be improved in the area of reliability.

To view the document: http://www.fcc.gov/document/improving-9-1-1-reliability

At Assure911 this topic is very dear to our heart. In fact it is the very reason for our existence.  Our mission is to make sure that emerging 9-1-1 services are as reliable as possible. In order to back up our belief that we can positively impact developments in this area, we have placed our experience, energy, intellectual property (software, trademark, patents), daily efforts, and a great deal of our own money into ensuring that the industry gets our message.

We are very gratified that the FCC agrees!

One of the items discussed in the FCC’s document is improved outage notification to PSAPs.  Our patented Assure911 system that solves that very problem, using a smart-phone App.

We have traveled around the country speaking about how 9-1-1 networks must be managed for highest reliability.

It is now our great honor to be able to provide comments on the document, which we have already begun working on.

Here are a few of the presentations that we’ve made where reliability has been discussed:

In the fall of 2011, at IIT’s Real Time and 9-1-1 Conference:

NG 9-1-1: Reliability After Design – Design and Reliability Solutions for Emergency Services Networks

At the IPSTA Conference in Springfield Illinois in the summer of 2012:

Next Generation 9-1-1 Texting, Video Calling, and Network Management

Most, recently at the APCO Emerging Technology Forum in Anaheim, January 30, 2013:
Assure911® Reliable Operations for Public Safety Communications


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