A Shout Out to NextGen Tech Support!

tech-support

One of the greatest impacts the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 will have is to those individuals providing technical support.

So, let’s put this in perspective- below shows the traditional 9-1-1 system today.Legacy

When a PSAP calls for support, the first thing the provider might ask for is the circuit information. Based on the diagram above, this makes sense- I check the circuit, then the equipment on either end. All 9-1-1 calls are send to the Local Telephone Company and its Selective Router. So, if things look good on the telco end and the circuit (CAMA Trunk) appears to be functioning, the next step is to check the equipment in the PSAP. Maybe a  dispatch to the PSAP to address the issue.

An important factor- the above picture shows that everything is:

  • Local

  • Linear and connected

  • Logical to troubleshoot

  • 9-1-1 Calls flow from left to right

  • Problems and outages are normally isolated to a single PSAP– there is no ‘network’

So imagine you’ve been in your role for awhile. You understand how things are connected, the different vendors, you are good at your job. You understand the critical nature and the importance of resolving any 9-1-1 issue as quickly as possible.

One day you receive a call from a PSAP that is connected to an ESInet (Emergency Services IP Network). Hello NextGen..

Our model here in Palm Beach County, FL now looks like this:

ESInet

  • There is more than one selective router and they are located over a hundred miles apart

  • The call processing has been removed from the local PSAP and is now ‘hosted’, in our case, in Data Centers – one five counties north. There are now two Call Processing systems and they support ALL of the PSAPs

  • A technical issue might affect one, many or ALL PSAPs

  • In the world of Internet Protocol (IP), things are connectionless, meaning that you are going to need additional technical support to see how the specific 9-1-1 call flowed through the system. There is no dedicated path a 9-1-1 call must follow. GIS and other I3 functions may engage

  • The complexity of the support model has now changed dramatically

  • The “Time to Repair” a problem has the possibility, especially during these times of transition, to be extended

If you provide technical support in this environment- thank you. Management has hopefully provided you and your team with a diagram that depicts each customers layout…

Training, staffing and procedures are all issues our vendors and partners are working to address.