Congress Approves Next Generation 9-1-1 Funding
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Congress made a down-payment on the future of our nation's 9-1-1 system when it
provided $115,000,000 in grant funding to state and local 9-1-1 authorities.
The move comes as part of a major legislative push to extend payroll tax cuts
that were set to expire at the end of February.
the grant provisions, Congress also directed the FCC to begin a proceeding
aimed at curtailing automatically-dialed calls to 9-1-1 centers, and another
aimed at determining the feasibility of including E9-1-1 location capabilities
in multi-line telephone systems. The latter provision would help to ensure that
factory workers, college students, and corporate employees can be easily found
when they call 9-1-1 from campus landlines. Under the agreement, the FCC must
also report to Congress on the need for legislative and regulatory changes to
enable Next Generation 9-1-1 deployment nationwide. The legislation also
reauthorizes the 9-1-1 Implementation Coordination Office, a joint program
office administered by the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
These provisions of the bipartisan bill will
provide a much-needed boost to NG9-1-1 deployment. "State and local 9-1-1
agencies are facing tremendous pressures, both from ever-tightening budgets and
from outdated legal frameworks," said NENA Director of Government Affairs
Trey Forgety. NG9-1-1 will allow Public Safety Answering Points to receive text
messages, pictures, video, and data, in addition to the voice calls they handle
today. "Congress clearly understands the nexus between the public safety
wireless broadband and NG9-1-1 provisions in this Bill, and that is very
encouraging. NENA thanks the Co-Chairs and members of the Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus for providing the significant leadership that made this landmark piece of 9-1-1 legislation possible, " Forgety said.