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June 2014 Winbourne Consulting Newsletter
Progressing Progressing Towards NG9-1-1 – Implementation Underway
Having spent the past 5-7 years preparing for and systematically stepping into the NG9-1-1 domain, certain states have begun to realize some of the early benefits that Emergency Services IP networks (ESInets) have to offer. While some states started by converting PSAP Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) first, others recognized the necessity of the ESInet for enhanced call and service delivery; rather than place IP capable CPE in place, state and local areas that have taken calculated steps to put their respective IP networks in place are now on the cusp of seeing the fruits of these labors as, without these networks, the CPE is nothing more than new CPE.
Winbourne Consulting’s team of SMEs have had first-hand involvement in many of these programs and, most recently, have been retained to manage the rollout of the nation’s largest of these early-adopter states: Connecticut. Retained by AT&T, Winbourne Consulting was selected to manage the state’s migration of its 107 PSAPs onto their respective ESInet, trusting our team’s SMEs to guide them through this highly systematic endeavor.
Other areas which have started to see the rewards of their early-adoption of NG9-1-1 migration efforts are Tennessee, Iowa, North Central Texas COG (NCTCOG), Vermont, Alabama, Maine and a collection of counties in north Florida. The most recent addition to this transition has been the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the single largest state to make the move to NG9-1-1 as evidenced by its recent RFR for ESInet, Data Center and PSAP services. All eyes will be watching the visionaries in this state as they engage in their respective evaluation process for what many feel will be the model to follow for complex system migration efforts. Winbourne Consulting sees many more additions to this migratory flock, with initiatives planned in Oregon, Kansas, Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia among others, all preparing to enter the highly beneficial domain of NG9-1-1 migration.
NG9-1-1 – Services and Applications Requiring Broadband (ESInets and FirstNet)
Next Generation 9-1-1 is far too often used as a catch-all when describing PSAP call taking efforts which incorporate Voice over IP (VoIP) delivery of voice and data to the call taker. However, NG9-1-1 is much more than just the initial call, it’s the services which not only deliver the call to the appropriate PSAP but also the data to the first responder; delivering enriched call data to the PSAP is merely one step in the call-flow that is transforming our nation’s Public Safety communication backbone. NG9-1-1 is a collective of services, applications, processes, all of which come together over an integrated network to deliver information to the First Responder community based on protocols and proximities, not physical locations or fixed call paths. These services, exhibited below, all share one common framework which must be in place before we will see the full benefit of “NG9-1-1”: Broadband Networks.
Figure 1: Next Generation PSAP Model
Whereas many professionals see the delivery of voice and data to the PSAP over an IP network as achieving NG9-1-1 status, many other facets must come into place to stake this claim and truly reach the summit of NG9-1-1. Winbourne Consulting continues to stress the importance of network planning and having a unified ESInet and FirstNet strategy because without these, there is no true NG9-1-1; IP call routing has been done for years now, with many providers claiming this to be “NextGen” or “NG-Ready” when, in fact, the architectural approach is not only highly similar to legacy 9-1-1 models but, in certain cases, highly risky and lacking redundancy as sold. Anyone can plug a CAT-5 hub into a rack in the backroom, convert an analog CAMA signal to IP and, as workstations all have IP addresses, claim that their call-taking system is NG9-1-1; if it’s IP to the desktop, the call must be NextGen ready, right? Far from it actually, and Winbourne Consulting’s team of experts have seen this misnomer far too many times, to the point where we feel it critical to dispel the myths and educate the masses as to what being NG9-1-1 REALLY means.
NG9-1-1 is the convergence of data, interoperability across geographic boundaries, delivering this data to PSAPs and First Responders in the field in a fluid, unified, logically connected network domain. As noted earlier, certain states have made significant progress towards achieving the first critical milestone in setting an NG9-1-1 ecosystem, that being the migration to an ESInet and away from legacy 9-1-1 delivery constraints. This is one step in the realization of an NG9-1-1 domain, a critical step forward not to be taken for granted. However, cutting over to a fully meshed logical network which is logically redundant and delivers “calls” dynamically across its respective domain only helps the call taker communicate with the PSAP via text, voice and/or video calling. Where one network delivers the calls to and across the PSAP domains, the other sends this lifesaving data to the field where it is needed most: on scene and in real-time. Without FirstNet, states and local areas are empowering the public to flood our nation’s PSAPs with rich data and information, yet rendering this data useless as it will not make it to the field where it is needed most.
State and local areas already underway with this most important step of ESInet migration should be applauded, as they are taking the first step in defining their respective broadband ecosystem so as to empower not only the public, but the responders on scene. We must continue this journey to an NG9-1-1 environment by embracing FirstNet, setting respective ESInet and PSAP migration strategies to empower wireless public safety broadband and align both efforts to leverage common assets and services without adding unnecessary cost. Winbourne Consulting provides its clients with this level of foresight and synergistic approach as part of our industry-leading, globally recognized Public Safety migration planning into and through the NG9-1-1 ecosystem.
Coming Next Month
Continuing with our series on network strategies for Public Safety, next month we will explore in further detail how ESInets and FirstNet backhaul planning can be done to leverage similar assets and economies of scale. Following the same logical vs physical network modeling approach employed in ESInet migration planning, Winbourne Consulting will discuss how an ESInet can be utilized as the logical network backbone for a county, region or state’s respective FirstNet backhaul and hosting requirements.
New Winbourne Projects
June 2014 - Winbourne Consulting has worked extensively with Arlington County, Virginia in the implementation of a Smartphone Parking Payments System. Winbourne provided active assistance in the form of requirements definition, RFP preparation, vendor selection and system implementation. Arlington County recently announced the upcoming implementation of a mobile parking payment system that allows smartphone users to use a single app to park in Arlington and the District of Columbia. For more information on these new payment systems visit http://www.arlnow.com/2014/06/24/breaking-smartphone-parking-payments-coming-to-arlington/.
Look for us in Booth 1352 at the upcoming APCO 2014.
Commdex and APCO International Partner for Upcoming Public Safety Conference & Expo to be held at the Gwinnett Convention Center in Atlanta on October 7th, 2014
Alexandria, VA – Commdex and the Association of Public-Safety Officials (APCO) International are partnering this year to bring a premier national event to the metro Atlanta area – the 2014 Next Gen Public Safety Technologies (NGPT) Conference & Expo
Articles of Interest
Next-gen 911, FirstNet LTE visions appear to be a promising match
Next-gen 911 and public-safety LTE also are extremely complementary—so much so that having one without the other can be limiting in many scenarios. Both represent efforts to make a transition from voice-centric legacy systems to IP-based architectures that will allow first responders to leverage information via multiple media such as; data, photos and video, and voice. Next-gen 911 and public-safety LTE require broadband connectivity that will be available in even the worst circumstances, requiring planning for hardening of network assets and redundancies that ensure connectivity when failures do occur.
NPSTC Thanks APCO for Excellent Site Hardening Section in PSG Publication
APCO's research covers the majority of all systems and infrastructure at a site.
NENA RELEASES HEARING STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY TELECOMMUNICATORS
The Hearing Standards for Public Safety Telecommunicators document is a tool for PSAP managers to use in the development of minimum hearing standards for public safety telecommunicators. It defines standard hearing requirements and audiology necessary to perform the basic functions of the telecommunicator position. This document includes information relative to telecommunicator position requirements, audiometric testing of candidates & employees, audiology, and Americans with Disabilities Act as it relates to employment.
Winbourne Consulting provides technology and management consulting services to help government agencies and private sector corporations accomplish their goals. We work on technology, business and operational issues, identify problem areas, and partner with our clients to plan and implement effective solutions.
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