NG9-1-1 ICE – Industry Collaboration Events

NG9-1-1 ICE – Industry Collaboration Events







NENA is dedicated to ensuring that all of the goals of NG9-1-1, both technical and non-technical, are met. NENA views a range of testing programs as a critical component to accomplishing standards based NG9-1-1. NENA understands that it is the vendors of NG9-1-1 elements that will ultimately deliver the interoperability NG9-1-1 promises. Therefore, the first NG9-1-1 testing program sponsored by NENA is aimed at supporting the vendors in their testing with each other. These Industry Collaboration Events bring together vendors in an open, supportive, and collaborative, environment that fosters a spirit of technical cooperation. Taking part in or success in testing at an ICE event does not confer any formal NENA certification for a vendor’s products. 

While NENA has played a central role in the creation of the program, it is our intent to include all stakeholder groups and we are open to partnering with other industry organizations in the creation and implementation of this program. This is evidenced by the makeup of the NG9-1-1 ICE Steering Committee which has seats representing the vendors, government users & buyers, other industry associations, government organizations, NENA Technical and Operations Committee Leadership, and NENA Senior Staff.  

The ICE Steering Committee is charged with overseeing all planning and execution of these testing events.ICE 1 was held on November 3, 4, and 5 2009 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. ICE 2 was held May 24-28, 2010 at an AT&T facility in Dallas, Texas. ICE 3 was held November 29 through December 3 at the Brazos Valley Council of Government (BVCOG) site in Bryan, Texas.

Each ICE has a focus for the testing to be done. ICE 1 brought together vendors that are delivering NG9-1-1 elements that locate, route, and answer IP calls. ICE 2 focused on Transitional Elements that are defined to facilitate the migration from the current 9-1-1 system to NG9-1-1. Future events will have the following focuses but will not occur in this order.

Government organizations and their consultants are encouraged to support this program by adding questions related to participation in the events to any RFI or RFP they develop. Boilerplate for this has been developed and is in use by several jurisdictions. Recently, the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA) has endorsed this effort and encourages all vendors to participate.

There will always be a need for ICE testing whether it is a specific functional element or end-to-end testing. There will always be new vendors in the market, new software versions and complete version upgrades that require retesting. At some point, the specific testing being done today will migrate to bi-annual or annual events, which will allow new vendors or existing vendors with new software or hardware to take their product to an event to verify compatibility and interoperability.

More ICE information:

  • Delaine Arnold – NENA ICE Testing Coordination Manager – 813.960.1698
  • Roger Hixson – NENA Technical Issues Director – 614.442.9110
  • Rick Jones – NENA Operations Issues Director – 815.519.7841


NG9-1-1 Industry Collaboration Event (ICE) Committees

The Steering committee is charged with planning and executing a series Industry Collaboration Events in support of the overall NENA NG9-1-1(?) Project. This body deals primarily with setting the direction and expectations for the events. It is composed of representatives of all major stakeholder groups. It is empowered to create committees as it sees fit.

  • Nate Wilcox, Chair
    Next Gen Partner commercial members
  • Daryl Branson, Vice Chair
    Next Gen Partner users
  • Paul Mallett
    Next Gen Partner users and NASNA
  • Terry McLarty
    Next Gen Partner commercial members
  • Devery Thumann
    Next Gen Partner commercial members
  • Bill Mertka – 9IA
  • Dick Dickinson – 9IA
  • Roger Hixson – NENA Staff
  • Rick Jones – NENA Staff
  • Tony Busam
    NENA Technical Committee
  • Pete Eggimann
    NENA Operations Committee
  • Kathy McMahon-Ruscitto – APCO
  • John Chiaramonte – National 9-1-1 Program Office
  • Ron Bloom – NENA Board Liaison
  • Ray Paddock – Secretary to the committee

The most important topics the Steering Committee deals with include the following:

  1. What will be tested??
    1. Using i3 as a “roadmap”, how should the overall architecture be segmented?
    2. What aspects of NG 9-1-1 are most important to test?
    3. Are the underlying standards in place to test? 
    4. Do the other characteristics of the segments being focused on lend themselves to an Interoperability event?
  2. How will testing be done?
    1. Will all the vendors come together in one place at one time or will this be a virtual event?
    2. What will the test scripts look like?
    3. What information/results will be collected?
  3. What information will be released, to whom, and in what format?
    1. What information should be released?
    2. Who will have access to the results?
    3. What form/format should the results take?
  4. When will the events take place?
    1. What is the schedule?
  5. Who will participate?
    1. How will the industry be engaged?
    2. What agreements will participants need to sign?
    3. How will participants be selected?


This committee is asked to determine what data should be gathered to support the vendors and the ongoing development of standards and other aspects of NG9-1-1(?). Note that we are not using the term “Results” in this committee name.

  • Devery Thumann – Motorola, Chair
  • Brian Rosen – NeuStar
  • Kathy McMahon-Ruscitto – APCO
  • Ray Paddock – Secretary to the committee
Guidance to this committee from the Steering Committee includes the following:
  1. No data should be gathered that conflicts with item 2 in the general guidance above.
  2. This event is not to be used for marketing or advertising purposes. This is a technical event. NENA will, however, be recognizing participation in the event.
    1. If data is gathered that has the potential to conflict with this, a plan must be developed for protecting the data.
  3. For feedback to the NENA Tech Committees, data should be gathered to answer the following questions:
    1. Which standards are clear and complete and limit unintended or unproductive interpretation to a minimum?
    2. Which standards are too loose and allowed for excessive interpretation?
    3. Which standards are overly restrictive?
    4. Which standards are missing?
  4. A plan for how the data is to be captured needs to be developed. Options to consider include the following:
    1. Requesting that participants in each test self report data.
    2. Having a member or appointee from this committee observe each test and record data
  5. Some type of form should be developed that can be used to capture the data.

This event is only the first in a series. We need feedback from this committee after the event to improve future events. A written report covering recommendations for future events is important.