FPP Compliance


What does it mean to be NENA “Future Path Plan Compliant”?


NENA’s Future Path Plan is a vision that has evolved over several years. We have lived through the migration of the public telephone network to high-speed digital signaling, while 9-1-1 was largely left on analog. We have lived through the nationwide deployment of wireless communications that, initially, ignored E9-1-1 entirely, and fought our way toward Phase 2. We have helped 9-1-1 PSAP equipment evolve from modified telephones to sophisticated computer workstations. We are working every day to ensure that Internet Telephony includes specific provisions for equivalent support of 9-1-1 calls.

These battles have taught us some important and, often, costly lessons. One is that the next new technology is always just around the corner. Creativity and new ideas are always welcome and the application of new concepts and technology to 9-1-1 networks, databases and CPE is a must, but how do you know if that new idea will meet certain non-negotiable E9-1-1 requirements?

In order to ensure that emergency callers will reach the help they need – regardless of the technology used to originate or answer the call – NENA established the Future Path Plan. It plots a course for us to follow into the future. AS part of putting the Plan into action, NENA has created the Future Path Plan Compliance Evaluation Process.

Compliance Evaluation

New concepts, technologies and processes can be submitted for FPP evaluation. The evaluation is facilitated and supervised by the NENA Technical Lead Team (which is comprised of the Technical Committee Chair/Liaison, the NENA Technical Issues Director, and the Technical Committee Chairs & Vice-Chairs).

It is important to note that the FPP Evaluation Process will most often be performed on new concepts that have not yet evolved into readily available products. Prototypes may or may not exist at the time of evaluation. The evaluation, then, represents a comprehensive review of the concept and supporting documentation submitted by the contributor.

“FPP Compliance” means that the contribution has been found to adhere to the tenets of the Future Path Plan. It does not mean that NENA endorses the concept or that the concept will ever become a viable product or service. Compliance means that the concept, as presented to the review committee, meets the evaluation criteria sufficiently to garner a passing grade. Again, Compliance does not constitute NENA’s endorsement of any product, nor does it guarantee the product will work as advertised. It means that the concept, as presented, meets FPP criteria.

There are three possible outcomes to an FPP Evaluation:

  1. The contribution is deemed “Compliant”.  The contribution will be posted on the NENA.org website.
  2. The contribution is deemed “Conditionally Compliant”. The contribution will be posted on the NENA.org website for one calendar year. If the contributor addresses the issues that caused the “conditional” rating, the posting will be changed to show as compliant. If the contributor does not successfully address the open issues within one calendar year, the contribution will be removed from the website.
  3. The contribution is deemed “Non-compliant”. Non-compliant contributions will be returned to the contributor and will not be posted on the website.

As time progresses, we expect this process to evolve and improve.

Being Compliant with NENA’s Future Path Plan means:

  • the vendor can make that statement in their advertising
  • the vendor can respond affirmatively to RFPs that might require such compliance
  • the vendors concept will be shown on NENA’s public web site[1]
  • the vendor can establish a reputation for being in sync with NENA’s FPP

The following links provide the details of the current E9-1-1 Requirements definition, the Future Path Plan Compliance package which describes the steps and process, and the ratings for products already evaluated.

E9-1-1 Requirements
FPP Compliance Package
FPP Compliance Review Ratings

Questions or comments can be directed to Billy Ragsdale, Technical Committee Liaison ( [email protected] ) or Roger Hixson, Technical Issues Director, ( [email protected] )

[1] the information shown on the web site will be consistent with what the vendor submitted for review, and will not include anything the vendor prefers not be included