NG9-1-1 Back to Basics: What Are Next Generation Core Services?

Posted on Feb 10, 2021

For more than 20 years, Next Generation 9-1-1 has been called “The Future Of The 9-1-1 Industry.” Yet, after decades of strategic planning, only a fraction of our nation’s Public Safety Answering Points have been able to deploy NG9-1-1 solutions. There is no question that our current technological framework is out of date. Industry leaders, government officials, and PSAP directors are looking for effective solutions to deploy in their communities to overcome these challenges.

If you are interested in bringing Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) to your region, this four-part series will provide the info you need to educate citizens, elected officials, and other stakeholders about the value of improved 9-1-1 service.

So what exactly are NG9-1-1 Core Services, and how will they transform emergency response across the country?

The Building Blocks Of A 21st Century Emergency Hotline

NG9-1-1 provides Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) access to functions such as accurate location, real-time text, photos, video, and critical data such as network health. These benefits are delivered through a series of software elements that are called Next Generation Core Services (NGCS). When you deploy a NGCS solution in your community, the new system will be built around the following components:

  • The Border Control Function (BCF) provides security for the entire system, using admission control, firewalls, and other software tools to protect PSAPs from cybercriminals.
  • The Emergency Call Routing Function (ECRF) and Location Information Server (LIS) uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data to accurately route calls to the correct 9-1-1 center.
  • Additional Data Reporting (ADR) sends the telecommunication subscriber’s contact information to the 9-1-1 operator who answers their call.

When NGCS are used in conjunction with the Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) that connects landline, wireless, and VOIP callers to their closest PSAP, NG9-1-1 can offer benefits that legacy systems cannot.

For example, since much of the public has moved from landline to cellphone usage, location information has been a challenge for 9-1-1 for decades. Legacy 9-1-1 systems validate a call’s point of origin based on its closest street address and identify any location information associated with the subscriber’s account by combing the Automatic Location Identification (ALI) database. The call is then transferred from a local telecom carrier to a Selective Router in the legacy 9-1-1 system, determining which PSAP the call should be sent to based on ALI location information.

>> Read more about the problem with Selective Routers here

Unfortunately, there are many ways in which this information can become inaccurate or obsolete. What happens if the caller is located in a place that doesn’t have a clear street address, such as a high-rise apartment building or a state park? What if the caller uses someone else’s phone and is not located at the subscriber’s listed residence? What if the caller is forced to move during the call and cannot provide more information about their current location?

An NG9-1-1 system that is NENA i3 compliant uses NGCS components to overcome those challenges, giving 9-1-1 access to more detailed GIS location information. Selective Routers and ALI are no longer necessary because NGCS can provide the same services using an end-to-end IP system instead of relying on outdated technology or third-party databases. ECRF and LIS will ensure that the call is sent to the right PSAP based on the caller’s geospatial location. With advanced GIS data, 9-1-1 operators can use maps that incorporate floor plans, physical terrain, and police beats to determine where the caller is currently located and how quickly first responders can get to them.

That’s why NGCS are essential building blocks of a modern emergency hotline - giving emergency response professionals the ability to provide fast and efficient emergency services for residents and visitors in our communities.

Are You Ready For Next Gen?

At NGA 911 we are on a mission to make communication easier on both sides of the 9-1-1 call. We do that with secure, cloud-based i3 compliant NG9-1-1 technology. With NGA 911, you get better location, the highest possible fault tolerance and stability, Real-Time Text, and enhanced data for more effective and faster emergency response.

Contact Us Today!

NGA 911 is committed to bringing secure, affordable, and effective NG9-1-1 technology to communities around the world.

Our NG9-1-1 solution is powered by AWS, the leading cloud provider for federal, state, and local governments across the country. With our deployment model, we can bring i3 compliant NG9-1-1 to your community within a matter of months rather than years, overcoming many of the political, technical, and financial hurdles encountered when replacing legacy 9-1-1 infrastructure with new technology.

Contact us today to find the perfect solution for your community! It is our pleasure to assist.