March NENANews – Selected Articles
By S. Robert Miller
Chairman, Delaware Valley 9-1-1 Coalition
As the deadlines approach for Phase I and Phase II implementation of FCC94-102, there is a growing debate in the board rooms of corporate America and the halls ofgovernment as to who should pay for enhanced wireless 9-1-1 services. Should the PSAP pay,the wireless carrier, the wireless subscriber, or some combination of the above? Perhapsthe answer is not as difficult as some would have it. In fact, perhaps it has already beenaddressed and reconciled.
The funding of 9-1-1 services is not a new issue or monster which hassuddenly sprung up on the telephone industry and government. 9-1-1 has been funded by amultiplicity of ways including line items on telephone bills, charges placed oninformation calls over a set number, and general government funds to name a few. The itemswhich government has paid for include dedicated 9-1-1 trunks, selective routers, ALIdatabases, and such other items which were solely used for 9-1-1. Government did not payfor other items in the telephone public switching network which were used and shared by9-1-1 and telephone users in general, such as end offices, switching tandems, databases,carrier systems, etc.
So where is the debate? First, wireless enhanced 9-1-1 complicates theissue – or should it? Should wireless 9-1-1 be funded any differently than wireline 9-1-1?Does it matter to the caller if a wire is attached to his or her phone? When 9-1-1 isdialed from wireless phones, do the callers expect the same service as they would get froma wireline phone? Can we agree that a phone-is-a-phone, then treat the wireless industryas we treat the wireline industry? In other words, why not use the same funding mechanismestablished locally for wireline to fund wireless if a phone-is-a-phone? This would meangovernment funding of the dedicated trunks from the wireless mobile switching offices to9-1-1 tandems at a P.01 grade of service as in the current practice for wireline. Thepseudo ANI records for the cell site sectors can easily be accommodated in the existinglocal ALI databases without any additional expense.
Second, consider location systems for Phase II. Location services shouldbe viewed as a whole new business opportunity for wireless services. This service can becompared in many ways with telephone service. Telephone services allow us to communicateover a distance, while location services allow the general public and others, such asPSAPs, to know exactly where we are. Albeit they are different . . . but they are bothservices and services which can truly generate revenue. No one ever asked or expected thepublic sector to pay for any part of the shared telephone network, so why would anyoneexpect the public sector to pay for shared location systems? Public funds should only beutilized to pay for those items which are isolated and used for 9-1-1 only, such as thededicated 9-1-1 circuits between the location systems and the dedicated trunks between thewireless carrier and the 9-1-1 tandems.
Modifications to PSAP equipment will need to take place to accommodatewireless ANI and ALI and may well be financed by public funds as is the current processfor funding PSAP equipment. Question, has anyone heard of a single PSAP asking thewireless carriers to fund Phase I and Phase II compatible answering equipment? So wherethen is the great debate? The debate is that the FCC in Docket 94-102 stated that thereneeds to be a funding mechanism in place to pay for Phase I and Phase II services . . .and several of the wireless carriers have suggested that this is tantamount to a federalmandate that requires public funds to pay for location systems. Many of us in publicsafety disagree.
Let’s examine the flip side of this debate and assume for the moment thatpublic safety agrees with this suggestion. For the most part, users of wireline telephonespay for 9-1-1 in the form of a user 9-1-1 surcharge. If public safety was convinced thatlocation service only has value and use for 9-1-1, then public safety might consider howthe public sector might fund it. Most of us would impose a user surcharge on the wirelessbills to gather the revenue to pay for the location system. We would then negotiate withthe wireless carriers as to which state and county or municipality would pay for what. Wewould come up with some magical formula to distribute the cost for a system which wouldhave no boundaries. Remember, we are not talking about a wireline system where it is knownexactly how many phones are in a given geographical area. If the public sector were to payfor location systems, they would reserve the right to approve the system design includingthe placements of all of the components. And the system could not be used to generaterevenue for commercial carriers.
Even if a carrier chooses not to explore other users for locationservices, a recent poll concluded that there is a huge market for wireless 9-1-1 locationwhich will more than pay back the carriers for their investments. According to the poll,wireless subscribers are willing to pay an additional $1.00 or $1.50 per month forlocation technology for 9-1-1. The poll also determined that the carrier which haslocation technology would draw customers from its competitors without location technologyand would gain additional new first time users. The results of the poll were quitestriking, making it clear that (a) most wireless customers don’t know they don’t havelocation now; (b) when so informed, they place a high priority on getting it; (c) they arewilling to pay more than it will cost to get it; and (d) it will clearly be a marketingadvantage to a carrier which offers it versus one that doesn’t.
As stated above, carriers can more than recoup their investment forlocation technology on 9-1-1 alone. Perhaps it might be prudent here to analyze just howmuch location technology is likely to cost. People are freaking out when $35,000 per cellsite is stated, but that is not much when you convert it to a per subscriber basis. Theaverage loading of cellular systems is 1500 subscribers per cell site, which equates to$23 per subscriber, or 39 cents per month if spread over 5 years. When you add operatingcosts and interest this almost doubles to about 75 cents a month; and the poll reportedthat users were generally willing to pay twice that amount. Does this sound like aproblem? And remember, we all agree that safety sells phones.
There are only two basic sources of funds to pay the PSAP and carriercosts involved: wireless subscriber surcharges, and state or local funds from othersources. Fifteen states have passed wireless E 9-1-1 legislation which imposes subscribercharges for all wireless enhanced 9-1-1 costs. A few states (e.g. New Jersey) are paying E9-1-1 PSAP costs from state and local funds. It is clear that wireless subscribers aregoing to pay for most E 9-1-1 costs one way or another. The simple answer is for carriersto take advantage of their deregulated status and simply decide when and what Phase IItechnology they want, charge their customers an amount they believe is appropriate, andprovide location to the PSAPs. States or local government could then either pay PSAPscosts themselves, or develop a uniform, legislated charge for all carriers to pay. PSAPswould be required to coordinate their technical policies at the state, regional, or marketlevel to accommodate all carrier technical solutions. Why would carriers want state orlocal entities to increase their subscriber rates, take the money, and decide how much togive back to the carriers and for what technology? Would it not be better for the wirelesscarriers to be free of government bureaucracy to build location systems as they choose andto use the system for other services which could generate additional income and increasetheir bottom line?
The largest costs for wireless E 9-1-1 will be those of carriers. The mostefficient way to develop competition and the lowest prices will be for carriers, alone orin various combinations, to negotiate with location technology vendors. Waiting forgovernments to decide the total costs of Phase II, choose technologies and then procurethem, will needlessly delay action by carriers and will constrain market competition indifferent location technologies. Carriers need to move forward quickly to address consumerdemand for location. The great thing about the FCC’s rule is that it is a performancerequirement. It doesn’t tell carriers how to get there.
Southern New Jersey, five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and theState of Delaware have formed the Delaware Valley 9-1-1 Coalition to deal with funding ofPhase I and Phase II wireless services throughout their combined jurisdiction. TheCoalition offers this position as an example as how wireless enhanced 9-1-1 can be funded:(1) funding of enhanced wireless 9-1-1 should be as comparable as possible to wireline9-1-1 access service; (2) funding of local circuits and local operations should be handledat the state and/or local level based on existing or future funding mechanisms andpolicies; (3) funding of location systems should be financed by the respective FCClicensed wireless carrier; (4) 9-1-1 location systems must meet the standards promulgatedby the Federal Communications Commission; and (5) the Coalition will collaborate with thewireless service providers in promoting education to the general public with regard to theneed for wireless 9-1-1 location services.
PSAPs are generally willing to pay for equipment modifications anddedicated 9-1-1 wireless trunks. And the wireless carriers must be willing to recovertheir cost for the location systems which their subscribers want and will support. If wecan agree to this, then the funding mechanism used since the first 9-1-1 system was puton-line in Alabama and used successfully throughout the United States ever since can fundwireless enhanced 9-1-1 services. We don’t need to continue this great debate. We needonly to look at how we have funded 9-1-1 in the past and apply the same logic today with afew basic laws of economics. The wireless carriers which step out first with locationtechnology will not only be the leaders . . . but will reap the financial benefits. Doesanything more need to be said?
S. Robert (Bob) Miller is Chairperson of the Delaware Valley 9-1-1Coalition which was formed in part to deal with the wireless carriers on a three stateregional basis. Bob is Executive Director of 9-1-1 for the State of New Jersey,Chairperson of the NENA Technical Advisory Board, and Chairperson of the NENA RegulatoryCommittee. He can be reached by e-mail at [email protected].
21 States toConsider Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 Bills in 1998
Average tax of 75 cents per customer, per month proposed for new service
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 5, 1998–Wireless enhanced 9-1-1 legislation is expected tobe introduced in 21 states during the 1998 legislative cycle beginning this month,according to a XYPOINT Corp. survey of wireless carriers, public safety officials andstate legislative aides.
The legislation would create cost-recovery mechanisms to help state andlocal officials implement the Federal Communications Commission’s mandate on wirelesscarriers to provide Enhanced 9-1-1 service. Most of the bills also are expected to includeindemnification protection for wireless carriers as well as public safety officials forthe provision of Enhanced 9-1-1 service.
During the 1997 legislative sessions, 10 states passed wireless Enhanced9-1-1 bills dealing with cost recovery and indemnification, while 14 other statesintroduced bills that did not pass their respective state legislatures.
The following states are expected to introduce bills creatingcost-recovery mechanisms, with proposed monthly rates for wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 taxes:Alabama ($1), Florida (50 cents), Georgia (legislative study), Hawaii (state regulatoryaction), Idaho ($1), Illinois (95 cents), Indiana (65 cents), Iowa (93 cents), Kansas (75cents), Kentucky (70 cents), Massachusetts (50 cents), Michigan (75 cents), Missouri (75cents), North Carolina (80 cents), Ohio (65 cents), Oklahoma (to be determined),Pennsylvania (75 cents), South Carolina (65 cents or more), Tennessee (70 cents to $1),Virginia (legislative study) and Washington (75 cents).
“Wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 legislation makes good sense not only forpublic safety officials and wireless carriers, but ultimately for the nation’s 53 millionwireless customers who expect and deserve to receive help when they use their wirelessphones to call 9-1-1,” said William H. Hinkle, operations director for HamiltonCounty, Ohio, and vice president of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).Hinkle has been leading efforts within the public safety community to assist in thedrafting and passage of wireless Enhanced 9-1-1 legislation.
XYPOINT is a designer, developer and marketer of wireless intelligentnetwork services, providing location-related technology to the wireless industry.
Georgia legislative study
Hawaii state regulatory action
North Carolina 80¢
Oklahoma to be determined
South Carolina 65¢ or more
Tennessee 70¢ to $1.00
Virginia legislative study
Illinois – PublicSafety Telecommunicator Training
by Michael P. Moos
Illinois Public Safety Telecommunicators and their PSAPs have had over the years a myriadof training choices. This article discusses how the State of Illinois developed avoluntary standard that will ensure that certain measures of instruction are used thusproviding consistency in training. This will guarantee PSAP personnel are trained fortoday’s public safety environment and serve us beyond the year 2000.
Emergency communications have been available in some form since the advent of emergencyservices. Telecommunicators have long been the vital link between the public and emergencyresponders. In the early 1970s television shows such as “Rescue 51″ and”Emergency” launched the public’s expectations for paramedic services andpre-hospital care. Today “Rescue 9-1-1” has molded the public’s perception ofthe telecommunicator as another professional in their link to public safety services. Thisis further emphasized with 91% of Illinois’ population served by 9-1-1 systems coveringapproximately 54% of the state’s land area.
Recent events, media scrutiny and public concern have alerted local public safetyofficials that there is a lack of standardized training in the public safetytelecommunications arena. Because training has been historically inconsistent throughoutthe State of Illinois, the need for a training standard became paramount. In order toensure we can meet our public’s expectations, a standard curriculum was needed to meetstate minimum standards. In conjunction, it was necessary for such a standard to be upheldthrough a certification process administered by the State.
The Planning Process
In response to the findings from its “Long Range Plan,” the Illinois LawEnforcement Training and Standards Board, under the leadership of executive director Dr.Thomas J. Jurkanin, formed a Telecommunicator Training and Standards Advisory Committee.The mission of the committee was to plan and recommend the training curriculum andstandards for telecommunicators in the State of Illinois.
The Advisory Committee first met in April 1994. The membership of the committeeincluded the Board and representatives of the following organizations:
· Illinois Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA)
· Illinois Chapter of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, Intl.(APCO)
· Illinois Department of Public Health Division of EMS and Highway Safety
· Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts
· Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police
· Illinois Department of State Police
· Illinois Fire Chiefs Association
· Illinois Sheriffs Association
· City of Chicago
· A Mayor and two Telecommunicators
The professional input provided by each representative and the membership it representedwas an important factor that influenced the Advisory Committee’s ability to reach itsgoals.
It was clear to the committee that no single entity could identify the number oftelecommunicators in the state or the type of training received. A survey was designed andsent to every 9-1-1 system in the state. The survey and its corresponding data providedpersonnel usage and training trends within Illinois. In addition to this, the AdvisoryCommittee contacted every state in the nation to obtain current information to beincorporated into Illinois’ curriculum.
In order to ensure local issues were addressed, three public hearings were held in theincipient stages of the planning process. By Fall 1995, a core curriculum had beendeveloped. At that time Winnebago County 9-1-1 petitioned the Advisory Committee topre-test the curriculum in their county. The pre-pilot course provided information thatformed the basis for which the curriculum could be finalized.
By Spring 1996, the Advisory Committee had met a total of 14 times to research, developand finalize the curriculum to the point of field testing. It should be noted that duringthis time frame an updated EMS Act was passed in Illinois’ General Assembly whichstipulated the training and registration of Emergency Medical Dispatchers (EMD). Thisassisted the Advisory Committee in redefining an EMD direction for the public safetytelecommunicator in the State of Illinois.
Prior to the final testing of the curriculum, a public announcement was made that thecurriculum was available for review and comment. In order to insure an opportunity forlocals to provide any concerns, testimony was permitted either in writing to the Board orin person at three public hearings. After the hearings, the Advisory Committee held ameeting to review the testimonies provided and to finalize the curriculum on the basis ofthose testimonies. The pilots were then reviewed and approved for field testing. Thepilots were held by two of the Board’s regional training systems (Mobile Team Units 7 and14).
On July 16, 1996, the Advisory Committee finalized the curriculum from data andevaluations derived from the two pilots. The Committee also approved a Code of Ethics forthe professional telecommunicator. Finally at this meeting, the Advisory Committeefinalized its recommendations to the Board emphasizing certification of telecommunicatorsas a necessary component of the profession. Organizations submitted their formal supportof the Advisory Committee’s recommendations and their letters were provided to the Board.
The Advisory Committee developed a 16 module unit course. The course content is aminimum of 80 hours of instruction and is intended to provide the basics in many topicareas but is designed to permit local adaptations and additions to those basic topics ofinstruction.
The curriculum’s flexible design allows it to be offered “academy” style orin a module by module training format. The units are listed in numerical order to enhancelearning skills where one unit builds upon another. However, while there is no requirementthat the units be taught in a prescribed order (unless defined by a prerequisite), itshould be recognized that the course was designed in a logical order of instruction topromote a means to attain proficiency in the required learning skills.
Additional Training Modules
It should be noted that certain advanced training is required for telecommunicatorswhose job function is defined in which they have a more advanced function. Theseadditional training modules are identified as separate from the basic level curriculum andare not part of the basic curriculum. The job responsibilities for both modules areconsidered advanced level training and could be incorporated immediately after the basictraining program is accomplished.
Module 1 – Emergency Medical Dispatch: As identified by the Illinois EMS Act of 1995,the minimum standard for EMD training is the U.S.D.O.T. EMD National Standard Curriculum,as adopted by the Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of EMS and HighwaySafety.
Module 2 – LEADS Operator Certification Program: The National Crime Information Center(NCIC) has mandated training standards for each Illinois agency accessing NCIC. TheIllinois State Police Agency Field Services Section has established a comprehensivetraining program aligned with NCIC requirements.
Recommended Training Practices
The Advisory Committee notes that certain practices should be considered prior to,during and after the basic training program is implemented.
Practice 1 – Ride-Along Program: If practical, administrators should ensure the studentexperiences the activities of the field personnel through a ride-along program.Administrators should try to utilize Field Training Officers (FTOs) or their equivalentfor ride-along programs. It is further recommended that public safety response personnelbe provided the same training courtesy with a “ride-along” experience in adispatch center.
Practice 2 – PSAP Orientation: It is recommended that a minimum three dayorientation/visit be made to a PSAP prior to students taking the basic course. Thisorientation would permit the student to begin to become familiar with the profession,terminology and equipment used. It is recommended only those students enrolled andcommitted to attend a course should be scheduled for the visit. The visit should have aset structure to maximize the experience to the student. Appropriate security precautionsshould be implemented by the PSAP to ensure criminal justice information is not viewed byor disseminated to the student.
Practice 3 – Evaluation Program: Local trainer/student programs are suggested to bringconfidence and aid in the student’s effectiveness and efficiency. This training courseshould not be considered the sole source of training for telecommunicators. It should besupplemented with local training to ensure retention and agency orientation. Agenciesshould periodically evaluate the telecommunicator’s proficiency, during and/or after thetraining period.
Practice 4 – Annual Continual Education: The Advisory Committee recognizes that inorder to remain proficient in the telecommunications field, continual education trainingis a necessity. At the time of this recommendation, there is no statutory requirement forcontinuing education in the telecommunications field other than those set by the LEADS,the Illinois Department of Public Health and private industry accreditation boards. TheAdvisory Committee does strongly recommend that a telecommunicator complete 24 hours everytwo years of actual continuing education instruction.
Public Safety Telecommunicator Certification
The public safety communications profession has evolved to a level which requires astandard of training for its personnel. Telecommunicator actions have a significant impacton the successful delivery of public safety services. Several factors have forced a changein telecommunicator training including the influx of civilian telecommunicators, thespecter of civil liability lawsuits, the advent of complex systems and heightened publicawareness. These considerations have compelled many states to establish and maintain alevel of certification for their telecommunicators based on standardized training.
The mission to the Advisory Committee from the Board was to develop a basic trainingcurriculum. During the incipient stages of the planning process, it became apparentcertification is essential to ensure a statewide mechanism for qualified public safetytelecommunicator training. Only this benchmark ensures statewide consistency in theadministration of the curriculum.
A major concern to local public safety officials was that telecommunicators, who arethe first to be in contact with the public and the main link to field personnel, are notrequired to be certified. Recognizing this concern, the Telecommunicator Training andStandards Advisory Committee formally adopted, at the July 16, 1996 meeting, a motion torespectively petition the Board to approve the proposed curriculum as a state standard.The Advisory Committee also moved that the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and StandardsBoard approve the development and implementation of a certification program for PublicSafety Telecommunicators.
During the development process for the state standard, APCO initiated Project 33, whichwas the development of nationwide training standards for telecommunicators. Both planningprocesses culminated almost simultaneously. The final product for Illinois had encompassedand surpassed all the components suggested by the APCO standard. The committee alsowelcomed the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 1061, but noted that this wasa hiring standard versus a training standard.
At the Quarterly Meeting of the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Boardheld on September 5, 1996, the two proposals were presented. The first proposal was thecertification of a standardized voluntary curriculum as recommended by the AdvisoryCommittee. The curriculum was adopted by the Board. The second proposal was for the Boardto develop and implement a certification program for the public safety telecommunicator.The Board adopted this proposal and provided direction for implementation through the LongRange Plan.
The State of Illinois has long been an advocate for proactive public safetytelecommunications. While there has been an explosion of growth in the implementation of9-1-1 systems, no one standard of training has been available to keep up with this growth.The Board now offers a means for local government to implement, through a voluntarysystem, the minimum training a public safety telecommunicator should have. The AdvisoryCommittee also realizes that until the program is mandated and integrated with acertification program that we will not achieve state-wide coverage.
The public expectation of telecommunicators is no different than that of lawenforcement, fire and emergency medical services. The guarantee of providing professionalpublic safety services to the citizens of the State of Illinois is a basic and essentialcriterion influencing the general quality of life for both individuals and communities.The citizens of Illinois are worthy of such a commitment, this standard is provided hereon their behalf.
For Further Information on the Program Contact
Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board
600 South Second Street, Suite 300
Springfield, Illinois 62704
To Order a Printed Copy of the Curriculum Contact
Curriculum Publications Clearinghouse
(800/322-3905). Refer to item # PST ($8.25 includes shipping).
To Download a Copy of the Curriculum via the Internet Contact
the Illinois Law Enforcement Media Resource Center homepage
Michael Moos is a Program Manager for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training andStandards Board. Prior to his employment at the Board, Mike was Director of Illinois’9-1-1 Program. Mike also served terms as a Regional Vice-President and President of theNational Emergency Number Association (NENA) and had served for many years on theAssociation of Public-Safety Communications Officials – International (APCO) National9-1-1 Committee. Mike remains active in emergency services as a volunteer firefighter/EMT-D with the Sherman Fire Protection District and serves in the capacity ofAssistant Chief.
Ohio Becomes the 24thState to Establish Telecommunicator Training Standards
by William H. Hinkle
It took five years and a lot of persistence, but on November 5, 1997, the Governor of theState of Ohio signed a Bill (S.B. 5) that for the first time establishes a minimumtelecommunicator training standard for Ohio’s Public Safety Communications personnel. Insigning the Bill, the State of Ohio recognized that Public Safety Communications is aprofession that requires specialized training. While not mandatory, the Bill is based on anationally recognized standard1 that establishes a definable minimum training curriculumfor all public safety communications personnel.
Five years ago, in what was a unique display of mutual cooperation, an Ohio State TaskForce was formed. The Task Force, which was spearheaded by the Ohio Chapters of NENA andAPCO, consisted of representatives from all areas of Ohio’s public safety sector. Themembers included representatives from law enforcement, fire, EMS, and communicationsassociations from across Ohio. The mission of the Task Force was based on the propositionthat the State of Ohio should establish a basic Telecommunicator Training program, thusassuring the citizens of Ohio that their calls for emergency services are being processedby trained professionals.
The legislation establishes a 40-hour basic training program and an 8 hourrecertification program every two years. The basic 40 hour course curriculum will include,but not be limited to, instruction in the following areas:
· The Role of the Emergency Service Telecommunicator
· Effective Communications Skills
· Emergency Service Telecommunicator Liability
· Telephone Techniques
· Radio Broadcast Techniques
· Requirements of the Americans with Disability Act (as amended that pertain to EmergencyService Telecommunicators)
· Handling Hysterical and Suicidal Callers
· Law Enforcement Technology
· Fire Service Technology
· Emergency Medical Service Technology
· Emergency Call Processing Guides for Law Enforcement
· Emergency Call Processing Guides for Fire Service
· Emergency Call Processing Guides for Emergency Medical Services
· Disaster Planning
· Police Officer Survival and/or Fire and EMS Scene Safety
The Ohio Department of Education, Division of Adult Vocational and Career Education,will be responsible for funding and administering the statewide program. Training will beavailable at no charge to any public employee in the State of Ohio who has been hired toperform the duties of an Emergency Service Telecommunicator. This method of deliveryoffers some of the following advantages:
· Schools are conveniently located throughout the State of Ohio.
· Training is accessible as a career tract for individuals seeking employment in thepublic safety communications profession.
· Agencies concerned about the associated cost of training could simply require that theperspective employee obtain state certification before applying for employment.
· The Department of Education is a neutral body whose only focus would be to meeteducational needs and standards.
The bill is permissive in that it still permits an agency to provide training andcertification in-house as long as it meets the state standard. And while the Bill isn’teverything that the Task Force hoped that it would be, passage of the Bill will help toinsure that Ohio’s Emergency Service Telecommunicators will be provided with basiccompetencies and a well-rounded foundation for the supplemental training that is unique toeach individual agency.
William H. Hinkle is the Operations Director at Hamilton County Communications,Chairman of the Ohio Public Safety Communications Joint Task Force, and NENA’s 2nd VicePresident.
by Roger C. Hixson
Alternate telecommunications providers and the evolution of number portability drive aneed in 9-1-1 service for identification of the relationship between service provider andtelephone number. Two factors are involved:
Speed of identification by PSAPs of dial tone providing Companies
· when a PSAP needs to quickly contact the 9-1-1 call originating Company for lineinterrupt, call trace, and other emergency actions, the typical use of the NPA-NXX forCompany identification will no longer be effective
· an identifier that can be applied by telephone number is needed to supportindividual telephone number portability
· a Company ID that associates 24 hour access numbers with each telecommunicationscompany is needed for the above functions
Data Base Management
· supports tracking, completeness and accuracy in 9-1-1 data record processing by boththe 9-1-1 service providing Company and the data record source Company
· administration and management of discrepancy resolution among multiple Companies
· recognize that the Company providing dial tone and originating a 9-1-1 call may not bethe same Company that provides the source data base record for the telephone number
Purpose of the Company ID Registration Service
A national 9-1-1 Company ID registration point was recommended by NENA Standards workgroups in 1996, and subsequent work has been directed to making this service a part of theNENA Web Site, for general access. This approach is intended to support standardization of9-1-1 Company Identifiers, and to supply a single point of administration for the CompanyID file content and update. In addition, the design of this service allows eachtelecommunications company to assign multiple IDs, so that 24 hour contact information canbe identified for individual service areas.
Listing the registered Company IDs in the Company ID data base allowstelecommunications companies, states, counties, cities, and PSAPs to access and use theCompany ID information
A national Company ID in 9-1-1 service allows the PSAP to identify the switchingcarrier for a caller, and to determine the 24 x 7 number of the Company for emergencycontact needs. In the Company Identifier data base description (attached), each Companyidentifies one ID for each service area supported by the same 24 x 7 contact number. Ifthe company has a national switching center that takes calls from PSAPs for emergencyassistance, the Company needs only one ID for this purpose.
In addition, registered Company IDs can be used for identification of source recordprovider in the data base. Registered Company IDs are applicable to all Incumbent LocalExchange Carriers, Alternative Local Exchange Carriers, PBX/private switch providers, andResellers. The NENA Data Technical Committee is including a data base field in NENAVersion 3 (under development) for this purpose. More information on other data recordproviders who might be applicable to Company ID registration will be provided by the NENAData Technical Committee; at that time, the Company ID registration service documentationwill be updated on the Web site.
Use of Company ID Information by PSAPs
As the number of Local Exchange Carriers expand in a PSAP’s service area, PSAPs will findthat keeping up with which telephone number sets belong to each Carrier becomes morecomplex. Under Local Number Portability, Carrier ownership of individual telephone numbersmakes Company ID a necessity.
A PSAP needs Company ID information to support quick access to the switching Carrierwhen necessary. Periodically accessing and listing the Company IDs from the Web site willprovide this capability. The resulting listing or file should be made available to 9-1-1calltakers at the PSAP, so they can convert the Company ID displayed on the ALI screen tothe Carrier name and associated 24 hour contact number when needed.
In an area where Alternative Carriers or Local Number Portability are being activated,it is recommended that the appropriate PSAP management check the NENA Web site, and listthe registered IDs as necessary, at least once a month. The frequency of checks shouldaccelerate as Alternative Carriers become more prevalent.
If a Company ID user does not have NENA Web site access, the NENA national office canprovide a listing.
Registering Company IDs
Both a mechanized sign-up process on the NENA Web site, and a paper form are availableto support all users.
Internet address: www.nena9-1-1.org
The paper form can be requested by calling 1-800-332-3911 and can be faxed or mailed toNENA:
FAX: 740-622-2090 Address: 47849 Papermill Road;Coshocton, OH 43812-9724
An annual fee of $100 applies for each ID registered. Companies will be billed on anannual basis for each Company ID registered, unless the registering Company contacts NENAto remove the ID.
It is recommended that the Company Identifier be one that a public safetytelecommunicator can readily interpret. A 3-5 character contracted spelling of the Companyname is usually possible. The Company’s choice for an Identifier is likely to be accepted,provided that it is not already registered by another Company.
The chosen Company ID code structure should be primarily alpha (MTI is more humanfriendly than M0122 or 10122). While both upper and lower case characters can be used,note that many types of PSAP equipment display only upper case. All IDs in the data basemust therefore be unique character sets. Example: both ABCx and ABCX not allowed.
The 24 hour by 7 day telephone number should be that number that will allow the safetyagencies to contact the Company’s switching support center for line interrupts, calltraces, or other emergency contact reasons.
The area covered by the 24×7 number may be national, regional, a single state, or othercombinations. Please concisely indicate coverage area in the ‘Area Supported’ field by theuse of 2 character state abbreviations (OH, VA, CA, OK), ‘All’ to indicate all U.S.states, or Canadian province abbreviations. This will allow searching the ‘Area Supported’field for those Companies registered in a given area.
Please call NENA at 800-332-3911 if you have any questions.
The Pursuit ofInformation Technology… Bringing PCs to the PSAP
by Jacqueline Hike
In the previous editions of the “Technology Corner” we focused on the types ofintelligence being utilized at the PSAP with the introduction of Intelligent Workstationsand Computer Telephony. This time let’s take a look at the emergence of technology and thevalue added to the PSAP.
The emergence of Intelligent Computer/Telephone workstations and associated Local AreaNetworks (LANs) displace many of the 9-1-1 Call Center’s existing customer premisesequipment (CPE). By introducing the power of the personal computer into 9-1-1, theintegration of data and voice telecommunications is made possible. Now there are softwareapplications, networks, operating systems, and hardware to consider.
Computers are becoming the norm and are changing the way people do business. Anationwide survey sponsored by Intel Corp. and conducted by Yankelovich Partners, Inc.shows that the PC is becoming a “must have” technology and that the computerrevolution is just beginning. In addition, over half indicate that they look to thecomputer to expand their capabilities and possibilities by helping them to accomplish newthings rather than merely enabling them to do current things better. Three-quarters ofAmericans view technology as playing a major role in society and interest in technologygenerally outscores interest levels in sports, politics, and international news.
Contrary to some views that computers will replace workers or reduce skill levels, nineout of ten Americans feel strongly that computers play a positive role in improving jobquality. Americans see enormous personal potential and benefit in the personal computer.When asked to choose from a pair of words the one that best describes their feelings aboutcomputers, a large majority opt for the positive choice. Nine out of ten choose”creates opportunities” over “denies chance.” Almost the same numberchoose “engaging” over “dull,” and “friend” over”enemy.” Seven out of ten choose “tool” over “toy,””right of way” over “road block,” “fundamental” instead of”trivial,” “inviting” versus “scary.” More than half choose”fulfilling” versus “frustrating,” “affordable” not”unaffordable,” and “easy” instead of “difficult.”
What does the discovery of all of these new and innovative computer products andsolutions mean to the public safety industry? What is gained by replacing desktoptelephones with a computer and a graphical user interface? Or answering the phone byclicking a mouse? Does the personal computer really offer anything more than existingtelephone equipment does today?
The answer is “YES.” More and more, I think the Public Safety industry isevolving more into the standard IT (Information Technology) model. For the PSAP thebenefits in technological advances are tremendous … ease of use, future migration,reliability and integration.
In the majority of PASTS today, there exists what some of us like to refer to as”isolated islands of technology.” There are telephone sets, radio equipment, CADapplications residing on mainframe computers and dumb terminal interfaces, ALI displayscreens, TTY devices. The advent of computers and the rapid advances in technology allowus to begin to integrate these “islands of technology.” Utilizing open systemarchitecture allows us to bring these isolated and proprietary “islands”together on a common platform and begin to share information between applications, not tomention the addition of a whole new host of functions and features like faxing, e-mail,closed circuit TV, video, Internet, Intranet, and much more.
“Open” is key. By complementing open system architecture and Windows NTTM,you benefit from choice. Choice of hardware and choice of software. Systems become morereliable and secure. They provide a solid foundation on which to grow. There is greateraccessibility and lower costs versus our mainframe predecessors, more upgrades and lesscustomization. Every area within public safety benefits from the advances being made: callcenters, dispatch, records, case management, and communications. And the future oftechnology allows us even greater advantages addressing the challenges of PBX and ACDintegration, ISDN integration, cellular, data base issues, LAN administrative support, andmore. Envision integrating these services along with digital recording devices, computeraided dispatch, and mapping on a single computer workstation. The possibilities for thefuture of 9-1-1 telecommunications are endless.
Jacqueline Hike is product line manager for Plant Equipment, Inc. Comments andsuggestions should be addressed to jhike @peinc.com.