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Next Generation 911

The state of North Carolina is implementing Next Generation 911 (NG911) to ensure residents are able to access 911 services regardless of their location or the communication technology they use.

NG911 is the transition from legacy 911 to an internet protocol-based system for routing digital information (i.e., cellphone calls, text messages) to the appropriate 911 call center, also referred to as a public safety answering point (PSAP).  NG911 will also establish interoperability, security, economies of scale, competition, and innovation among the 127 PSAPs throughout North Carolina.  This will vastly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response. Improvements in call location technology and in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data will enable the routing of calls based on the actual caller's location.

The NC 911 Board has contracted with AT&T for the implementation of a statewide Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet), and a hosted call-handling system. The NC 911 Board has also contracted with GeoComm for the managed GIS services portion of the NG911 project. Both of these contracts will help North Carolina transition into a fully functional NG911 eco-system compliant with the National Emergency Numbers Association (NENA) i3 standards and best practices.

Implementing the NG911 Network

On Nov. 13, 2018, Durham 911 was the first 911 call center in the United States to go into production with AT&T ESInet and hosted call-handling services. As of Feb. 1, 2019, there were 31 PSAPs in various stages of NG911 implementation. All 31 should have migrated by the third calendar quarter of 2019. We expect at least 10-15 additional PSAPs to begin the migration process before the end of the 2019. AT&T is coordinating resources to accommodate the level of productivity necessary to achieve 100% migration of the scheduled PSAPs to the NG911 solution by Dec. 31, 2021.

Implementing a Network Management Assistance Center

The NC 911 Board adopted a concept of operations detailing the need for a Network Management Assistance Center (NMAC) at the beginning of the NG911 project. The NMAC will provide network operations center functions to ensure a smooth and consistent communications flow for network support between the NG911 PSAP community and AT&T. The NMAC will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will be staffed and equipped with the necessary monitoring tools and technicians to provide comprehensive service management oversight.

Developing a Geospatial Service

The NC 911 Board has contracted with GeoComm to aggregate and validate required GIS data from all 127 NC PSAPs to a statewide NENA compliant geodatabase within the state’s NG911 system. The GIS data will be used to enable the Emergency Call Routing Function (ECRF) to determine the 911 call center where a call should be routed, and the Location Validation Function (LVF) to identify the correct location of a civic address (house number and street name).

Next Steps

  • Migration of PSAPs to the ESINet and Hosted Call Processing system, targeting a completion date of Dec. 31, 2021.
  • Use of NMAC by PSAPs ensure consistent communications and network support.
  • Creation of geospatial service for use by entities providing GIS data, to support call routing.
  • Delivery of outreach and public education programs to keep the public, NG911 stakeholders, and industry partners informed about the NC 911 Board’s NG911 efforts.