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Public Safety Final 12-15-11 -   3.3 - Next Generation 911

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Public Safety Final 12-15-11
1. Prison Operations
2. Community Corrections
3. Emergency Readiness
4. Worker Safety
Action Plan
3.3 - Next Generation 911
Implementing Next Generation 911 Statewide

Data Notes
Data Source: Emergency Management Division
Measure Definition:

% of 69 PSAPs connected to ESInet

% of 69 PSAPs Equipment upgraded to full IP capability

Target 100% Completion of ESInet migration by March, 2012
100% Completion of equipment upgrades by June 2016
Target Rationale: Provide the current level of 911 service reliability while replacing the legacy technology with a capability to meet current and future demands.
Link to Agency Strategic Plan:

E911 system will be capable of accommodating non-voice messaging and other advanced features not available with the current system.

Notes: (Optional) As of: 4 November 2011
Also Available
Action Plan: Yes
Extended Analysis: Yes


  • Local jurisdictions use the Washington State Enhanced 911 (E911) network to answer 911 public safety calls.
  • Counties and the WSP are responsible for answering 911 calls at Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).  
  • Washington’s 39 counties and WSP have 69 PSAPs on the E911 network system. Four counties have multiple PSAPs and the WSP has eight PSAPs.
  • The Washington State E911 Program purchases and manages the statewide E911 network. Local and WSP Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) provide the staff to answer the calls.
  • The legacy E911 network is based on switched-circuit technology that is reliable, but is outdated because it does not fully provide wireless public access, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services or fully support the special needs community.
  • NG911 will improve public safety by providing citizens the ability to ask for emergency help by voice, text, or video emergency "calls" from any communications device via an Internet Protocol-based network system.
  • The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) identified the need to upgrade to NG911 in 2000 to adequately continue to provide citizens the ability to ask for help with a generation of new calling devices. Complex and technical, the standards and operational specifications evolved over a 10+ year time frame.
  • Washington State is one of the four leading states involved in developing, testing and deploying an NG911 network within their state.
  • The Washington State NG911 system includes Three-Phases of Development, Testing and Deployment. Project progress is on track and meets projected timelines. The three phases include:
    • Phase 1 – Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) implementation test phase is a proof of concept involving 8 counties. Selection of counties was based on their willingness to “go first” and representative size (small, medium, large). Phase 1 work began September 2009 and completed in December 2010.
    • Phase 2 – ESInet is the NG911 network conversion for the remaining 31 counties and the Washington State Patrol Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Work on Phase 2 began December 2010 and was scheduled to be completed October 31, 2011.  This completion date has been extended to March 14, 2012 due to a "low volume" issue that causes the call taker difficulty in hearing the caller.  To remedy this issue, a software upgrade and additional testing is scheduled.
    • Phase 3 - Upgrades PSAP equipment to provide NG911 “call” receiving capability. Phase 3 is the development and deployment of communications network equipment - regional “hubs” throughout the state that contains cost, maximizes resiliency and fully supports all communication devices. The equipment phase involves substantial public/private partnership to research, test and deploy the equipment. Washington State public/private efforts are working in concert with the other leading states to develop and deploy this capability to protect our residents. The “speed” or progress depends to a large degree on the continuing efforts to develop these national standards/capabilities and the revenue available to the 911 network. Once the NG911 capable equipment is in place, the PSAPs will be ready to receive non-voice “calls” as soon as the carriers are able to transfer non-voice emergency “calls” to the NG911 network. Until these transfers are possible, the PSAPs will still be limited to only receiving voice calls.

 Key Action Items

  • The Military Department and Qwest will complete Phase 2 (the remaining county) to ESInet.
  • The Military Department with assistance from the E911 Advisory Committee’s NG911 Subcommittee is developing an equipment fielding plan recommendation that will be presented to MG Lowenberg by November 30, 2011 for review/approval (Phase 3).

 Summary Analysis

  • Washington State is improving its capability to deliver emergency communications to its citizens by migrating from legacy, 1960s technology telephone networks to a state of the art Internet Protocol system (Next Generation 911 or NG911) capable of carrying voice, text and data communications.
  • Migration to an IP capable network (ESInet) is 97 % complete.
    • 38 of 39 counties and 68 of 69 PSAPs.
    • Originally scheduled to complete October 31st, 2011, but has slipped to March 14th, 2012 due to technical difficulties with remaining PSAP.
  • Preliminary execution of an equipment centralization plan to reduce costs and improve efficiency is underway.
    • Will enable IP connectivity between the PSAPs and the ESInet.
    • Will require SFY12 supplemental spending authority from the legislature.
  • Telephone company equipment upgrades will take place in 2012 or 2013.
    • Will enable IP connectivity between carriers and the ESInet.
  • Fully capable IP system will be in place by June 30th, 2016.
    • Completes the necessary infrastructure for NG911
  • Full Next Generation 911 implementation is also dependent on development and adoption of national standards, and carrier telephone system and equipment upgrades to enable text and data transmission.