In the perfect world there is a plan and approved funding for a NextGen ESInet –Emergency Services IP Network– in your State (disclaimer.. this is my personal opinion). This will serve as the public safety broadband network for all of the 911 centers (PSAPs). There is local control of the PSAPs, the state has simply removed a major technical hurdle by providing the ESInet backbone as a utility.
This is a great scenario…
With over 30 ‘home rule’ states – the state constitution grants cities, municipalities, and/or counties the ability to pass laws to govern themselves as they see fit (decentralized authority)- it can be challenging to establish a funded statewide 9-1-1 initiative.
In many counties across the US, staff responsible for 9-1-1 are maxed out. They have full time jobs, often serving in an Emergency Management, Police or Fire Rescue position, maybe even managing the PSAP(s). Strategic planning for Next Generation 9-1-1, securing funding and contracting for technical expertise at the local level represents a major undertaking.
SO.. if you are the responsible party at the county level, with no State initiative on the horizon, what do you do? We are starting to see a grassroots movement where local counties are working together. In Illinois, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania, to name a few, counties are teaming together to adopt a regional model, migrating to an IP based network with hosted (centralized) call processing. A great first step.
This is not wasted effort, as it lays the foundation for connecting to a full ESInet solution at a future date.
Here in Florida, there are a large number of counties who have begun to ‘self organize’, holding regular meetings to look at options.
Laurie Flaherty, National 911 Program Coordinator, and her team have put together an annual report that provides an overall view of what is happening nationwide: