November 2018 Newsletter

November 2018

Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.

Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:

  • PSAP Consolidation
  • NextGen/911 Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Public Safety Communications and Telephony
  • Public Safety Applications and Systems Requirements and Implementation Support
  • Mission Critical Facilities Design and Fit-Out
  • 311 Call Centers and Implementation
  • PSAP Staffing and Operations Analysis

Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.

 

We are interested in your thoughts on the newsletter topics. To share them with us, please visit our blog or follow us on Twitter.

 

For more information about our services and solutions, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

Increasing 911 Revenue

 

The Next Generation 911 Cost Estimate Report to Congress was released in Oct 2018, indicating that the NG911 lifecycle cost estimate range will be between $13.5 and $16B. Even prior to the release of this report, it was becoming apparent that current funding levels for 9-1-1 are inadequate for the NG9-1-1 transitional costs, especially those wide-ranging costs associated with the initial implementation. While the incoming Congress could provide relief with legislation to assist with the transitional costs, states and counties can take action now by reviewing local legislation as it relates to ongoing funding for 9-1-1 Emergency Call Centers (ECCs). A review of current legislation and policy on 911 charges and possible changes may result in greater 9-1-1 surcharge revenues. Below are a number of areas that could be explored at both the state and local level to assist in revenue generation needed for NG911 implementation.

 

  • Caps - State 9-1-1 surcharge legislation allows for caps for certain entities. An example of this is limiting the number of “lines” for which the entity is required to pay 9-1-1 surcharge fees.
  • MLTS - State 9-1-1 surcharge legislation often provides for the ability to “bundle” lines within a Multi-Line Telephone System into “trunks” for the purpose of 9-1-1 surcharge payments. This often results in far less 9-1-1 surcharge revenue because the 9-1-1 surcharge for the trunk is typically not as much as the surcharge for all the lines combined. The 9-1-1 surcharge should be paid for all lines.
  • Different Surcharge Rates - Most states have different 9-1-1 surcharge rates for different types of phone services provided. For example, wireline is often assessed a different rate than wireless. This difference in surcharge rates sometimes results in service providers remitting 9-1-1 surcharge fees at a potentially lesser rate than originally intended. This is especially true in today’s world with the plethora of mobile devices in use. The 9-1-1 surcharge rate should be the same for all types of devices capable of accessing 9-1-1.
  • Percentage of Base Rate - Some states and localities allow for the 9-1-1 surcharge rate to be set as a percentage of the “Base Rate” of the major service provider in the region. Sometimes, however, as the base rate increases, the 9-1-1 surcharge may not increase with it, resulting in less revenue than what was intended. States and local agencies should ensure that surcharges recalculated in that manner are properly applied for every increase in the base rate.
  • Device Definitions - In most states, the definition on what “widget” to apply the 9-1-1 surcharge is not adequately defined. For example, some states require the 9-1-1 surcharge be applied to “lines”. Others use terms such as “units”, “trunks”, “access line”, etc. The use of any of these terms leaves much room for interpretation by the telecommunications service providers. Where possible, agencies should use a wide-ranging definition such as “the 9-1-1 surcharge shall apply to any device capable of accessing 9-1-1”.
  • Audits - If allowed, PSAPs should perform audits of service providers’ 9-1-1 surcharge collections and remittances. It should also be incumbent upon the service providers to provide to the PSAP, on a semi-annual basis, the exact number and type of devices on which they are imposing the 9-1-1 surcharge, the exact amount of 9-1-1 surcharge money they collect and remit, and the exact amount of administrative fees they hold back. Some of these audit functions may require additional action by the state to allow for these types of audits.

 

Given the significant costs that many PSAPs and ECCs throughout the United States are facing with the implementation of NG911, it is highly recommended that states and agencies review all their legislation and policies to help ensure that the maximum 911 surcharge revenue is being generated to provide for the implementation of NG911.

 

The recommendations made here supplement the recently released Guidelines for State NG911 Legislative Language published by the National 911 Program office. These guidelines were originally published in 2012, and revised in 2018. Below is the link to that document.

https://www.911.gov/pdf/Guidelines_for_State_NG911_Legislative_Language.pdf

 

References

  1. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), (December 2, 2016), Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture (TFOPA) Working Group 3 Report: Funding Sustainment Model
  2. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), (December 30, 2016), FCC report to Congress on State Collection and Distribution of 9-1-1 and Enhanced 9-1-1 Fees and Charges
  3. National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA), (October 26, 2016), 9-1-1 Funding: Optimizing Revenue from the Current Surcharge Model
  4. Various State Legislation governing 9-1-1 surcharge collection and remittances

 

For additional information on how your agency can increase 911 Revenue, please contact Winbourne Consulting at info@w-llc.com or calling us at 703.584.5350 to start that discussion.

 

Winbourne Happenings

 

On November 1, 2018, Winbourne Consulting and World Vision International held a workshop in Jakarta Indonesia for reviewing our Recommendations for Jakarta’s 112 Call Center. The workshop was attended by over 50 people representing 30 city agencies.

 

Winbourne Consulting recently completed the business case for the plan and implementation of a back-up site for the City of Virginia Beach ECCS (Emergency Communications and Citizen Services) Operations. ECCS includes both the 911 PSAP Dispatch Center as well as the city’s 311 Call Center. The project included defining the requirements as well as preparing budgetary estimates as the basis for the City’s capital funding review.

 

Winbourne Consulting has been selected by Madison County, NY to evaluate the potential for a regional emergency communications solution for Madison County and neighboring Onondaga County, NY. This project will commence in January with an evaluation of critical emergency communications components of each center.

 

FirstNetMeWinbourne Consulting is coordinating an effort, as a subcontractor to Tilson Technology, to conduct educational visits for six regions in Maine with the state’s FirstNet office. This tour began Nov 27th, in the southern Maine area, will include meetings with all the state’s PSAPs, and is expected to wrap up by mid-December. These regional visits will provide an opportunity for discussions that address the current and future changes that the public safety broadband network will bring to the first responders, as well as the PSAPs, throughout the state.

 

Industry Events

ENVISION | Anaheim, California | September 20, 2018

Tampa, Florida | January 15, 2019

Intensive, one-day training focused on cybersecurity and Next Generation 9-1-1. https://www.apcoenvision.org/

 

 

Learn, Collaborate, & Contribute! | Jan 21-24, 2019 | Embassy Suites LBV South | Orlando

Consider a world where 9-1-1 calls automatically reroute in the event of a PSAP failure or overload… where additional data associated with the call describes, in an instant, the source and type of the call… where dynamic queue analytics identify areas of high calling and sort likely duplicate calls to the bottom of the answering queue… where the ability exists to pass along video and audio from the scene to responders effortlessly… where a fully-redundant “system of systems” links PSAPs and all 9-1-1 calls are answered in a timely manner by a trained dispatcher—no matter what the condition or emergency... This is the world of Next Generation 9-1-1.

https://www.nena.org/page/sbp

 

February 12-15 | Grand Hyatt | Washington DC

9-1-1 Goes to Washington brings together hundreds of 9-1-1 professionals from around the country with policy leaders in our nation's capital to explore and discuss today's most pressing 9-1-1 and emergency communications issues. 9-1-1 Goes to Washington is the only event where you can learn about the policy challenges facing public safety and take immediate action to address them through dialog with your elected and appointed officials.

Articles of Interest

 

Uber Rolls Out Emergency Feature in L.A. That Lets 911 Dispatchers Know Car's Location

Uber is rolling out a new safety feature in Los Angeles that gives 911 dispatchers key information about Uber riders who call while on the road. When a rider calls 911 using the emergency button in the Uber app, the ride-hailing company will now send emergency dispatchers the rider’s location as well as the make, model, color and license plate number of the vehicle they’re in. Visit http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-uber-911-10212018-story.html to read the complete story

 

S.C. 9-1-1 Center Explores Social Media to Improve 9-1-1 Operations

Several public-safety entities conducted a pilot project that tested the use of social media data in emergency response in September. The project explored how access to social media data could potentially improve situational awareness during emergencies and its impact on 9-1-1 operations. A key finding of the project was that telecommunicators and first responders universally agreed that social media provides the 9-1-1 community with an increasingly important tool for augmenting emergency response, provided that the data is properly integrated and operationalized. Read the whole story at: https://www.rrmediagroup.com/News/NewsDetails/NewsID/17575

 

Volunteer Disaster Response Websites Grow Up

To help with preparation, response and outreach as hurricanes Florence and Michael barreled toward North Carolina and Florida earlier this year, Code for America (CfA) brigades in those areas spun up websites within 24 hours that included interactive maps of shelter locations and links to resources. The code was also posted on GitHub.

 

One reason for CfA's quick response was experience. After Hurricane Harvey caused extensive flooding in Houston in August 2017, people needed help finding shelter. Harveyneeds.org “sprang up out of necessity to share where shelters were and what was available immediately and what people might need,” said Michael Bishop, part of Code for Tampa Bay, Fla.

 

The brigades sprang into action again as Hurricane Irma made landfall the next month in Florida, and this year brigade members were able to use the Harveyneeds.org website as a template of sorts to stand up Florenceresponse.org in less than 24 hours. Michaelresponse.org went up even faster because teams were still in place from Florence. Read the complete article at: https://gcn.com/articles/2018/11/13/cfa-disaster-response.aspx?admgarea=TC_STATELOCAL

 

Speakers: Next-Generation 911 Progressing, But Key Questions Remain

CHICAGO—Next-generation 911 (NG911) standards and development continue to progress, but the much-anticipated emergency-calling technology still faces a host of funding and policy challenges, according to speakers at this week’s IWCE’s Critical LTE Communications Forum.

 

Brian Fontes, CEO of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), said the need for NG911 is especially apparent as first responders adopt FirstNet and join the consumer public as users of IP-based wireless broadband, while legacy 911 centers are using decades-old technology.

 

“The missing link between the consumer … and the field responders that will be utilizing the IP broadband network—otherwise known as FirstNet—is that 911 center,” Fontes said during a session on Wednesday. “And that 911 center is basically stuck in last-century technology.”

 

Visit: https://urgentcomm.com/2018/11/09/speakers-next-generation-911-progressing-but-key-questions-remain/ to read the complete article.