In speaking with state and local 9-1-1 agencies, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified funding, evolving technology and operations, and governance as major challenges for implementing next generation 9-1-1.
GAO examined the nationwide NG 9-1-1 implementation by talking to local and state 9-1-1 officials in nine states that were in various phases of implementation. The agency found that none of the states were accepting images, audio files or video.
In three states, officials said that the funding they currently collect from telephone service subscribers may not be sufficient to support the transition costs of NG 9-1-1 implementation while simultaneously funding the operation of existing 9-1-1 systems.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National 911 Program’s mot recent national survey on NG 9-1-1 implementation found that about half of states were in some phase of transition to NG 9-1-1 in 2015, but that state and local progress varied. Ten states reported that all 9-1-1 authorities in their state processed calls using NG 9-1-1 systems, but 18 states reported having no state or local NG 9-1-1 transition plans in place. This could mean that those states were in the early phases of planning for the transition to NG 9-1-1 or had not yet begun.
The National 911 Program is the lead entity for coordinating federal NG 9-1-1 issues and is developing resources on NG 9-1-1 topics such as federal funding and governance structures.