NENA applauds today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to improve 9-1-1 reliability (PS Docket No. 13-75) and the reliability and continuity of communication networks, including broadband technologies (PS Docket No. 11-60).This action will increase the likelihood of reaching 9-1-1 in times of emergency by requiring telecommunications infrastructure owners to certify compliance with best practices and routinely audit network elements that are essential for 9-1-1 service, such as path diversity.
While there can never be a fail-proof assurance that telecommunications infrastructure will survive every man-made or natural disaster, today’s action lays out a process to routinely certify those elements of infrastructure that are essential to sustaining and restoring 9-1-1 service. NENA recognizes that mandatory circuit audits and certification processes will come at a cost, but these costs must be weighed against the value of 9-1-1 service to the thousands of Americans who face emergencies every day.With nearly 250 million 9-1-1 calls made each year in the United States, it is critical that all parties with responsibility for provisioning 9-1-1 service routinely assess the critical elements of their networks and other facilities.
Today’s action establishes a solid foundation for the Commission’s anticipated trials of all-IP service. NENA is pleased that the Commission is moving swiftly to implement IP-transition trials, and looks forward to working with the Commission to ensure that 9-1-1 is available to all consumers during and after the transition to an IP-environment.