Future Path Plan



The NENA 9-1-1 Future Path Plan – Target for 9-1-1 Evolution

In meeting the NENA mission, NENA’s technical process must make sure two things happen—that we deal effectively with the new challenges in bringing 9-1-1 services to all callers, and that we retain appropriate previous capabilities and reliability.

Integrating a growing variety of non-traditional ways to access 9-1-1 (such as telematics, and text messaging devices) by adding components and functions to the overall 9-1-1 system must also consider if the proposed method is clearly more effective, more dependable, and/or more economical than other alternatives.  A technical plan for future 9-1-1 systems needs to provide a long-term direction for development to support new call sources and needs.

To date, E9-1-1 service has been intentionally designed with certain characteristics. Examples are carefully designed alternate routes as backups if the primary route fails, circuit path diversity, redundancy of critical components (such as PSAP datalinks and duplicated data bases), call congestion control, etc.  Also, service parity is a basic objective—every potential 9-1-1 caller should have the same likelihood of a successful 9-1-1 call connection, regardless of the source of the call, whether from an ILEC, a CLEC, an ISP, or a wireless carrier.  The P.01 trunking service standard is an example.

The Future Path concept is an approach meant to reintroduce and refocus attention on these issues.  We should not lose what has been gained due to speed of effort, or due to lack of knowledge of past practices and standards on the part of newer parties to the 9-1-1 process.   Good design, standards and guidelines are needed to support this.  And we need to aggressively manage the technical evolution of the overall 9-1-1 system and emergency communications process in ways that meet the basic criteria, and serve local and national emergency needs.   Accomplishing this involves the development of specific concepts defining the nature of future  E9-1-1 service and systems, what objectives need to be met, and what basic criteria need to be used to test the validity of proposed solutions.  This must be done based on service needs, functions, and features identified in conjunction with public safety operations perspectives.  An example of this is the proposal of a three tiered data delivery process that you will see in the Future Path Plan PowerPoint, and the concept that the minimal data needed by the calltaker to react to the emergency call should be transported along with the call itself.

The Summary presentation from the 2003 Denver NENA Conference has been added to the information available below.  The current version of the Future Path Plan PowerPoint presentation is a mix of concepts and details.  It is available for your review and comments.  You can download it in either PowerPoint or PDF format by clicking below.