NENA 911 for Multi-Line Systems

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

NENA 911 for Multi-Line Systems

In a follow-up to this article, National Emergency Number Association (NENA) announces model legislation for Multi-Line Telephone Systems  (in MTUs, like hotels, offices, etc., where the internal PBX has to add 911 info to the call about what room or suite number).

"On Thursday, February 19, 2009, the Executive Board of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) approved an updated version of model legislation designed to help states develop statutes and rules requiring sufficiently precise caller location information for 9-1-1 calls made using Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS). The model legislation would ensure that 9-1-1 callers can be located when dialing from a business, shared tenant facility, hotel, or similar enterprise environment. Reflected in the language of the model legislation are technological advancements made in recent years that enable the implementation of Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) MLTS capabilities without imposing undue burdens on MLTS manufacturers, providers, and operators.

Currently, there is no federal E9-1-1 requirement for MLTS, and only sixteen states have taken on the issue, each with substantively varied prescriptions to the problem. "It is NENA's mission to ensure that all Americans have the best access to 9-1-1 possible, regardless of where they live, work, or travel," said NENA Chief Executive Officer Brian Fontes. "This model legislation will provide critical guidance for state legislatures across the country to enact measures that will improve the safety of all Americans."

Although recent years have seen significant progress made towards improving 9-1-1 for most consumer telecommunications technologies, little attention has been paid by lawmakers to E9-1-1 for MLTS users. While most MLTS enable the digits "9-1-1" to be dialed and routed to a public safety answering point (PSAP), the vast majority of these systems only provide physical street addresses, not the more granular location information (e.g. building number, floor number, suite) needed by responders to know the actual location of emergencies occurring on academic or business campuses or in high-rise office buildings. This has left millions of Americans exposed to unnecessary risk should they be unaware of, or unable to convey, their exact location to 9-1-1 telecommunicators.

The model legislation was authored by NENA's MLTS Model Legislation Working Group, which brought together MLTS vendors and users, public safety experts, and telecommunications representatives to facilitate a cost-effective and technologically viable solution. "The Working Group has been active since 2000, when the original model legislation was developed, but recent technological advances necessitated the creation of an updated model," said Working Group Leader, and NENA Past President, Mary Boyd, ENP. "By taking into account industry standards; newly available E9-1-1 MLTS technical solutions for all devices, including VoIP; and increasingly affordable implementation options, the newly revised model legislation will serve as an actionable blueprint that states can use to better protect their citizens," added Boyd.

In addition to the Model Legislation, a companion document was developed highlighting location discovery strategies for VoIP telephones. This Technical Information Document supports the model legislation and educates both legislators and the MLTS administrators on the various techniques that can be deployed to solve the user mobility issue. "A key initiative of the Work Group was to assess industry standard, commonly available, and affordable technology for all devices, including VoIP. Significant advances have been made as recently as the last 12 months that easily solve location resolution behind an MLTS," said Mark Fletcher, ENP, Working Group Technical Subcommittee Chair.

The full text of the MLTS E9-1-1 Model Legislation and the companion Technical Information Document, as well as a list of existing state statutes, can be viewed on the NENA website at: http://www.nena.org/pages/ContentList.asp?CTID=41.

About the National Emergency Number Association:  NENA is The Voice of 9-1-1™. NENA promotes implementation and awareness of 9-1-1 as North America's universal emergency number. NENA is the leading professional non-profit organization dedicated solely to 9-1-1 emergency communications issues. NENA serves its nearly 7,000 members in 48 chapters across the U.S., Canada and Mexico through policy advocacy, establishment of technical and operational standards, certification programs and a broad spectrum of educational offerings. Find out more at www.nena.org.


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