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Next Generation 911

For more than 50 years, 911 systems have served the needs of the public in emergencies. As communication technologies have evolved to include wireless phones, text and picture messaging, video chat, social media, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices, the public expects that 911 services will also be able to accept information from these communication methods. While efforts are underway across the nation to enable call centers to accept text messages, the future success of 911 in serving the public's needs will only be possible when Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) have transitioned to an Internet Protocol (IP)-based 911 system, commonly referred to as Next Generation 911 or NG911.

NTIA’s Office of Public Safety Communications developed a fact sheet that defines Next Generation 911 (NG911). Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) need 911 technology that meets public safety’s requirements and the factsheet highlights the key differences between legacy and NG911 systems.

NG911 will enhance emergency number services by creating a faster, more resilient system that allows digital information (e.g., voice, photos, videos, text messages) to flow seamlessly from the public, through the 911 network and eventually, directly to first responders. It will also enable 911 call centers to transfer 911 calls to other call centers, and help them deal with call overload, disasters, and day-to-day transfer of 911 calls to other jurisdictions.

Grant Program Background

As authorized by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act), NTIA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $109,250,000 of funding for a grant program to upgrade public safety answering points (PSAPs) to NG911 capabilities. Applications for the 911 Grant Program were due on April 2, 2019, and a full description of the program requirements is provided in the 911 Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Specifically, the 911 Grant Program provided financial assistance to PSAPs to help fund their migration to IP-enabled emergency networks; adoption of NG911 services and applications, interconnection with emergency response organizations; and training of public safety personnel in 911 services.

Related content

NTIA and NHTSA Annual Report to Congress on Next Generation 911 Activities

September 24, 2020

We are pleased to submit this letter as the annual report on the activities of the Implementation Coordination Office (ICO) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), pursuant to Section 6503 of the Next Generation 911 Advancement Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112-96, Title VI, Subtitle E, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 942(a)(4).1 The ICO provides national leadership and coordination of stakeholder efforts to develop comprehensive and technologically enhanced 911 (E9l l) and next generation 911 (NG911) services.

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