SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Greg Rogers
SHARE



Greg Rogers | May 27, 2014 |

 
   

Call 9-1-1:Emergency Service Industry Trailing Behind the IP Transition

Call 9-1-1:Emergency Service Industry Trailing Behind the IP Transition Because emergency service is the most critical consumer protection issue in the IP Transition, it is important that individual and enterprise end users also be engaged in the IP Transition.

Because emergency service is the most critical consumer protection issue in the IP Transition, it is important that individual and enterprise end users also be engaged in the IP Transition.

The telecom industry is buzzing about the FCC's "IP transition." As the government contemplates the best way to overhaul an outdated regulatory model for new communications services, it is imperative that the emergency services segment of the industry do the same. Because emergency service is the most critical consumer protection issue in the IP Transition, it is important that individual and enterprise end users also be engaged in the IP Transition.

When we evaluate the evolution of the communications industry's shift toward the ubiquitous adoption of Internet Protocol (IP) technologies, it quickly becomes apparent how far behind 9-1-1 services are relative to the rest of the telecom industry. The oft-cited problem that text and other IP-enabled data services are not able to interact with the emergency services network clearly demonstrates this disconnect.

The industry's 9-1-1 infrastructure has grown up around assumptions premised upon a fixed-line TDM-based phone. That model is no longer sustainable. 9-1-1 callers are now predominately using mobile services that rely upon CMRS (Commercial Mobile Radio Services) or IP-enabled networks and devices. As we consider the next steps required to update 9-1-1 infrastructure, we must be keenly aware of how IP technology has already triggered major changes to the PSTN. Regulators should think about 9-1-1 reforms in terms of a clear path toward a successful overhaul of the system that includes near-term needs along the way. Driving the ubiquitous adoption of NG 9-1-1 networks is the ultimate target. To forge this path, however, clear and courageous leadership will be required.

Addressing Text to 9-1-1 for OTT providers
Realizing the promise of NG9-1-1, with which public safety agencies gain access to a variety of IP-based data sets to assist with emergency response, starts with solving how people can use text to access 9-1-1 services via IP-based communications as provided by the emerging array of Over-the-Top (OTT) texting providers. Implementing the ability to deliver IP-enabled OTT 9-1-1 texts to the correct public safety answering point (PSAP) would be a watershed achievement that creates the base from which other NG9-1-1 capabilities will flow. (Though PSAP readiness to handle this traffic clearly is lacking today.)

To support OTT text-to-9-1-1, some suggest that OTT text providers default to an underlying Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) carrier's text-to-9-1-1 capabilities. Limitations to such an approach include a dependence upon the availability of a CMRS network as more and more end users roam and adopt WiFi-only services, as well as end user confusion. Placing an additional burden on the current capabilities of existing CMRS carriers while limiting the range of communications devices that can support text-to-9-1-1 for OTT applications is less likely to prod the industry toward NG9-1-1 than an approach that embraces IP-enabled OTT services and IP technologies more fully.

The transition to an NG9-1-1 infrastructure will be anything but simple, but certain developments are in fact beginning to show promise. For example, in the OTT text-to-9-1-1 space, by combining available data networks with application-derived location capture, a higher quality and more progressive solution becomes possible. Capturing location capabilities from IP-enabled commercial services yields a text-to-9-1-1 method that is more robust and technologically sound. It will also reduce requirements on end users and devices supporting OTT texting. Because this method doesn't require dependence upon CMRS services or the CMRS carrier's location determination equipment, it can avoid the challenges associated with roaming.

Another critical benefit is that development efforts for OTT application providers should also be in-line with development required to support NG 9-1-1. Finally, an IP-based OTT solution provides the most flexibility within the marketplace by offering availability across the broadest range of underlying communications devices.

Conclusion
As people increasingly rely on their IP-enabled communications services as a lifeline in emergencies, it is the entire industry's responsibility to ensure that widespread technological developments also include progressive and innovative 9-1-1 solutions. The limitations inherent in the existing infrastructure create difficult complexities that have caused the 9-1-1 community to fall behind the consumer marketplace.

We must work aggressively to close this gap as quickly as possible. Continuity along the way is critical, but we must avoid fearfully clinging to the past if we are to achieve the promise of advancing emergency services for the future. Now is the time to begin the process toward a far more robust emergency response system that will be there to help end users in need for decades to come.

Greg Rogers is Deputy General Counsel at Bandwidth. Greg has over 16 years of telecom experience and is based in Denver, Colorado.





COMMENTS



Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem


Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

December 13, 2017

The two major vendors in the Unified Communications space, Cisco and Microsoft, are both strongly promoting their cloud UC deployments. If cloud UC is on your enterprises roadmap, but you dont want

November 29, 2017

As video conferencing use rises in the enterprise, businesses are looking for ways to bring this technology out of traditional conference room and make it more broadly accessible. That's made the h

November 1, 2017

Your customers (internal and external) demand that you offer them the ability to connect by any means. With the adoption of cloud communications tools you now have access to an expanded portfolio o

November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.