In this post, we’ll highlight our viewpoints on the network architecture required for NG9-1-1. Beware to readers: today’s post is fairly technical. (If you are looking for something on the lighter side, check out last week’s post on NG9-1-1 capabilities and applications.)
Transport Mechanisms in a NG9-1-1 Environment
IP can be transported by many different low-level media (layer 1) including copper, fiber and radio signals and using different media access control protocols (layer 2) such as Ethernet, WiFi, WiMax and others. The choice and implementation of these protocols is largely driven by the marketplace and engineering considerations and won’t have a major impact on PSAPs or 9-1-1 users.
NG9-1-1 PSAPs are and will be built using layer 1 and 2 transports appropriate for the task, which today is likely to be UTP-based Ethernet and possibly some WiFi. As technology evolves, they’ll be replaced by the newest and most economical infrastructures, but shouldn’t be incorporated into the PSAP until they are widely adopted in the marketplace.
IP is undergoing a change from IPv4 to IPv6, therefore, ESInet infrastructures should be capable of supporting IPv6 even if the network is implemented using IPv4 (this means higher costs now but lower costs later.)
To see more information about SIP, TRP, and signaling and routing, read our complete document.
NG9-1-1 will vary differently than traditional telecom because consumers can pick and choose their service and device they where they want to use it.
New devices for public safety should be limited to those than can perform real-time communications so that users do not think that 911 does not work when they encounter delays.
Interoperability and Standards
For effective interoperability, all systems should use a standard interface that works well with other systems. This interface should include all information and references to all of the information associated with the call and the caller (including location.) The Commission should continue to promote open, consensus-based development of standards.
PSAP Functions in a NG911 Environment
The concept of a virtual PSAP has great potential; however, major critical issues need to be addressed prior to implementing it. Because NG911 will be deployed across the country in a variety of ways, therefore, all systems will need to interconnected via a national infrastructure so that calls can be transferred anywhere. The use of virtual PSAPs could be used to help in a disaster.
If you would like to learn more about NG9-1-1, download our complimentary white paper that is designed to help 9-1-1 agencies create a blueprint for NG9-1-1.