9-1-1 Fast Facts


9-1-1 Fast Facts

For additional terms and definitions, please see theNENA Master Glossary (Adobe PDF).

9-1-1 Call Volume:

An estimated 200 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. each year. According to the FCC, one-third are wireless calls; in many communities, it’s one-half or more of all 9-1-1 calls.  

Population Covered:

99%      (at least basic 9-1-1)

Counties/Parishes Covered:

96%      (at least basic 9-1-1)

Basic 9-1-1:

Basic 9-1-1 means that when the three-digit number is dialed, a call taker/dispatcher in the local public safety answering point (PSAP), or 9-1-1 call center, answers the call.  The emergency and its location are communicated by voice (or TTY) between the caller and the call taker. 

Enhanced 9-1-1:

In areas serviced by enhanced 9-1-1, the call is selectively routed to the proper PSAP for the caller’s location, and the PSAP has equipment and database information that display the caller’s phone number and address to the call taker. 93% of counties with 9-1-1 coverage have enhanced     9-1-1 for callers.  The term “enhanced 9-1-1” is not synonymous with wireless 9-1-1.

Wireless Phase I:

When Phase I has been implemented, the call taker automatically receives the wireless phone number.  This is important in the event the wireless phone call is dropped, and may allow PSAP employees to work with the wireless company to identify the wireless subscriber.  Phase I also delivers the location of the cell tower handling the call.  The call is routed to a PSAP based on cell site/sector information.

Wireless Phase II:

Phase II allows call takers to receive both the caller’s wireless phone number and their location information.  The call is routed to a PSAP either based on cell site/sector information or on caller location information. 



Wireless 9-1-1 Progress:


The United States has 6,174 primary and secondary PSAPs and 3135 Counties which include parishes, independent cities, boroughs and Census areas.  Based on NENA’s preliminary assessment of the most recent FCC quarterly filings:

80.0% of 6174 PSAPs have some Phase I
58.8% of 6174 PSAPs have some Phase II
70.8% of 3135 Counties have some Phase I
45.0% of 3135 Counties have some Phase II
85.0% U.S. Population have some Phase I
70.9% U.S. Population have some Phase II


9-1-1 Calls through VoIP:

Business and residential use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunications services is growing at a rapid pace.  Methods to bring 9-1-1 calls into E9-1-1 systems have recently become available, and NENA is leading work to develop full E9-1-1 capability for VoIP-based services. 


Next Generation Trends:

There are currently at least 8 million customers who rely on wireless as their primary service (having given up wireline service or chosen not to use it).

Estimates are that 12-15 million households will be using a VoIP service as either a primary or secondary line by the end of 2008.



NOTES:  Statistics are as of Feburary 2006 unless otherwise noted; all figures are for the United States only. While NENA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it provides, the Association makes no guarantee or warranty of the statistics and information provided herein. This survey represented 100% coverage of the U.S.  For more information:  www.nena.org.