The NENA Wireless Implementation Program


USDOT’s Support of Implementing Wireless E9-1-1

NENA, in partnership with the USDOT, APCO, NASNA and other stakeholders is proud to announce the launch of a national data-gathering program, and technical assistance program to stimulate wireless implementation for America, the NENA Wireless Implementation Program. 

NENA invites all interested parties in assisting in this industry-wide collaboration.  Since our proposal to the USDOT in February of 2001, we have enjoyed working with the stakeholders to bring this Scope of Work to its current status.  All parties view this as a public-open participation process.  The following is the tentative plans agreed to by the USDOT and NENA.

USDOT and NENA Wireless Implementation Plan

Interested parties are encouraged to send your interest in assisting this first-ever program are invited to send your interest in the WIP to NENA Interim Executive Director Jim Goerke at [email protected].


As part of its efforts to improve the safety and efficiency of surface transportation, the USDOT supports the implementation of National Wireless E9-1-1 capabilities.  This contract is intended to facilitate the deployment of enhanced wireless E9-1-1 services by supporting the efforts of State and local Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in coordinating and implementing the upgrades that will be necessary. 

There are approximately 100 million wireless subscribers in the United States.  These wireless subscribers call 9-1-1 an estimated 70,000 times per day, or 25-30 million calls per year.  Wireless calls represent almost 40% of the 100 million calls to 9-1-1 each year.  Many of the calls to 9-1-1 from wireless devices are calls from travelers on the nation’s highways.  Wireless calls currently present an immediate and growing challenge to the essential health of the nation’s 9-1-1 infrastructure.  Without location, these calls will continue to consume excessive amounts of call capacity and personnel resources in the 9-1-1 systems.  Additionally, there is a related consumption of resources for police, fire and EMS resources as the responders resort to heroic and costly efforts to locate callers.  For these reasons, the implementation of Wireless E9-1-1 location technology is a matter of growing importance and national interest, and may have the unintended consequence of creating a challenge to the effectiveness of 9-1-1 as perceived by the public.  

The challenge of implementing caller location technology for wireless E9-1-1 is compounded by the fact that many stakeholders must collaborate for the process to move forward.  The slow progress to date is due in part to these stakeholders—i.e., wireless carriers, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), Incumbent 9-1-1 Service Telephone Companies, Third Party Data Base Vendors, and Location Technology Firms—having little or no history of collaboration.  A lack of regulatory clarity of responsibilities, a lack of central leadership within the stakeholder groups, a greater than expected growth in the wireless industry, and new and emerging location technologies have all contributed to a de facto delay in the implementation of wireless E9-1-1. 

Currently, there is a movement throughout the country to implement the first phase (Phase I) of wireless service.  The above challenges, coupled with budgetary, technical, and skills/training issues, serve to slow the progress, however.   Consequently, there remain a large number of PSAPs and Wireless Carriers that are far from beginning their Phase I implementation.

No current activity of any single stakeholder can reach the desired outcome of full wireless implementation (including Phase II) on its own.  In order to make significant progress in this area a comprehensive and coordinated approach to implementation will be required.

This contract is intended to produce and carry out a comprehensive plan to help address coordination and implementation issues with the wireless carrier community, the major telephone companies that provide 9-1-1 service (and the host of small Telco’s that provide 9-1-1 services), the public safety community, and telephone handset, hardware and switch manufacturers that must develop technology to meet the new demand for wireless location technology. 


The objectives of this contract are to develop the necessary tools, technical guidance, and training and outreach materials to facilitate implementation of the wireless E9-1-1 services throughout the 50 states.  A related objective is to foster coordination among the many players in this field to ensure efficient approaches to the implementation process.


As a high-level summary, the contractor(NENA)’s activities shall include: performing program management, including the development of a work plan; providing technical and operational assistance to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs); creating, and publishing on electronic and print format, a National Contract Clearinghouse including a database of forms and form clauses that have been agreed to by parties across the nation; developing and maintaining a tracking system that accurately depicts the current status of wireless E911 implementation across the 50 states; developing The Wireless Deployment Profile; conducting the necessary analyses and evaluations of wireless location technologies to provide technical assistance and to gather the necessary operational and technical information and insights; developing a Test Program for wireless implementation; serving as a technical resource for PSAPs in planning for, and implementing wireless E9-1-1 services; providing consultation to the Government regarding wireless E9-1-1; developing training and outreach materials; and producing and distributing three targeted instructional videos.     


Task 1:  Program Management, Administration, and Reporting

Develop and submit to FHWA a draft work plan for this project, identifying major activities, organizational and staffing responsibilities for various tasks, as well as overall plans and schedules for accomplishing individual tasks. FHWA will review the draft work plan, and provide comments within 30 days of receipt of the draft plan. Based on the input of FHWA, develop and maintain a final work plan to guide the remainder of the contract. Conduct meetings with APCO and NASNA and other stakeholders to facilitate program planning and travel planning  as well as coordination and consensus building activities. The Contractor(NENA) shall also fulfill the reporting and administration requirements contained in this contract.

As to each deliverable item in producible in paper form (such as plans, reports and white papers), the contractor(NENA) shall deliver to the COTR:  (a) five ordinary photocopies; (b) one camera-ready, reproducible copy; and (c) one electronic copy.

Task 2: Provide Operational and Technical Assistance

A.  Develop/maintain a knowledge base in order to provide technical and operational assistance to PSAPs regarding the implementation of wireless E9-1-1 services.  The contractor(NENA) shall maintain an understanding of the contracting processes necessary for the PSAPs to enter into service agreements with the wireless companies in their jurisdictions and establish a database of the various contract types and procedures that are being used to establish wireless location capabilities at PSAPs. Provide technical assistance, as necessary and appropriate, to help facilitate contract negotiation.

To achieve this aspect of the project, the Contractor(NENA) shall create a national clearing house of legal contracts, forms and trends that are occurring in the nation that would accelerate the implementation process in the scenario where a PSAP and wireless company are actively negotiating for the service.

The Contractor(NENA) shall create, and publish on electronic and print format, a National Contract Clearinghouse  comprising a databank of forms, and form clauses, that have been agreed to by parties across the nation.  This databank will be a passive reference tool for both wireless company attorneys and local prosecutors etc. to review and get an industry practice orientation for their particular implementation.

The Contractor(NENA) shall execute and create a second element to facilitate a contractor(NENA) supported format for contract essential terms, and even highlighting certain clauses that are too onerous or perhaps rendered meaningless by rule clarification or S800, or other local law development.

The Contractor(NENA) shall confer with legal experts in all states to develop, gather, and distill common practices and methods of contract formation and project management.  Key trends in Project Locate will also be incorporated in this work to the extent data is available through that effort. 

The Contract Clearinghouse shall be initiated and available for use by April 15, 2002.  The clearinghouse would be maintained dynamically thereafter during the contract period.

It is anticipated that a task force and electronic interface will be created for this aspect of the project immediately.  It is anticipated that an electronic interface, which complements the National Deployment Profile, will be available for utilization by April 1, 2002.  Once established, the Clearinghouse will be updated dynamically as component documents are modified.

Model contracts for each state and service area will be established.  The national inventory of contracts will flow to the implementation step of the process in an orderly fashion, and will permit the parties to do effective project management for their respective roles in the wireless implementation process.

B.  Develop and maintain a tracking system that accurately depicts the current status of wireless E911 implementation across the 50 states.  The contractor(NENA) shall develop approaches for collecting implementation status on a national basis and for presenting/displaying this information in a graphical and interactive manner. NENA will provide access to this information through an Internet-based, point and click map of the nation, with state and county boundaries.  Utilize this dynamic inventory to draw attention to key practical roadblocks in the implementation process.

To achieve this work, the Contractor(NENA) shall develop The Wireless Deployment Profile that will enable all those responsible for or interested in wireless deployment to find out the status of wireless implementation throughout the U.S. The profile will be maintained at the state and county level, accessible using a “point and click” map of the U.S. with state and county boundaries. Using a map and tabular format will aid in “visualizing” progress while providing detailed information.

The Contractor(NENA) shall develop, and will post the website described herein, and will keep its information current through a host of data collection efforts, including but not limited to: