Many Enterprise businesses that have resolved their compliance issues for E911 have likely gotten sticker shock from the typical solution providers when extending those services for work-at-home users during COVID-19.
The reason for this is that the legacy E911 network relies on the reporting telephone number to indicate the address and location for the call for service to the Emergency Call Center (ECC/PSAP). Quite simply, that means if you’re going to report a specific dispatchable location, as required by the RAY BAUM’S Act §506, each site must have a unique telephone number associated with it as well as an individual 911 record. It becomes obvious why RAY BAUM’S Act §506 was heavily supported by those in the industry that provide that information. More records mean more revenue. This tie to the legacy databases is the primary contributor to why E911 compliance becomes more costly as the accuracy increases.
Imagine that you had to pay the phone company each month for every single telephone in your house inside your home. The fees would quickly become difficult to justify. To keep E911 affordable in a business environment, IT administrators grouped stations in logical zones within the facility. Grouping would still facilitate an adequate response while reducing the number of reporting endpoints (billable entities) required for compliance. While this logic works well for normal business operations, COVID-19 and remote workers considerably change that situation with employees working from home at a much grander scale.
This change in worker topology has effectively created an enormous amount of single-person branch offices, each with its 911 address and potentially different response agencies. Virtual private networks bridged home networks with the corporate infrastructure, making it very convenient to allow a softphone client to reside on the employee’s laptop and give them full communications capabilities as if they were sitting at their desk. As the remote networking capabilities became more mature and sophisticated, the ability to bring a physical device into your home was possible using a SIP telephone.
As the pandemic continued, this became the new way of business life, and many of these temporary conditions became permanent. With that decision came the afterthoughts about employee safety. Kari’s Law and the RAY BAUM’S Act §506 now in full force; IT Administrators were pressed immediately into a level of urgency for public safety compliance not previously considered.
For any 911 solution, the ideal ‘gold standard is to provide location information at the individual device location. Unfortunately, this just isn’t cost-effective at scale.
One question that I’m often asked is, “What is the difference between E911 and NG911?”
While the answer to that question can be pretty complex, and many comparison points exist, the answer is simple for this discussion. NG911 provides an intelligent IP infrastructure that allows the origination endpoints or networks to directly provide information (i.e., location) to the emergency call center.
Since this model uses a SHELL RECORD which is shared between all remote workers and updated in REAL-TIME, only a SINGLE RECORD is required. This effectively eliminates the network complexities and, most importantly, the costly routing and 911 database entries required resulting in device level reporting at a REDUCED OPEX!
Not only allows device level location to be reported in real-time to the ECC , the IP connectivity and the multimedia capable databases provided by our connections to Bandwidth and RapidSOS provide routing to every ECC in the US, and the ability to send multimedia to over 93% of those centers today.
As in G911 networks continue to deploy, and carrier infrastructures advance with new capabilities and modalities, we can finally take advantage of 21st-century technologies that flourish in the commercial space, but have yet to be deployed for public safety. At 911inform, you’re proud to partner with the very best in the industry creating change and ubiquitous connectivity into the new era of NG911 public safety infrastructure.
We’d be happy to demonstrate our exciting, award winning technology to you, and show you how we can save your business monthly and annual OPEX, while providing full compliance with federal legislation, and increasing the level of detail you provide to public safety. Feel free to reach out to me at any time. Stay safe and thanks again for stopping by my dusty little corner of the Inter-webs.
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© 2021, All Rights Reserved, Mark J. Fletcher, ENP
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