Connect and Protect

Recent Webinar, Working Together to Connect and Protect, was hosted by NENA and sponsored by AT&T.

By ATFN Staff Writer

Before the National Emergency Number Association Conference (NENA) kicked off this week, the organization hosted a webinar last Wednesday titled, Working Together to Connect and Protect, that was hosted by NENA and sponsored by AT&T. AT&T described its Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) product and how Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) can transition from a Legacy Time Divisional Multiplexing (TDM) system and fully harness the power and promise of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911).

Mark Titus, AT&T ESInet Lead Product Manager, illustrated the changing landscape of incoming calls to PSAPs and the growing need for PSAPs to keep pace with consumer technology demand. He noted that 240 million calls are made to 911 in the U.S. each year and that 80 percent of these calls originate from mobile devices. “The demands for 911 service have changed drastically in the last 50 years,” Titus said.  He envisions NG911, in which a call for distress is not only collected and processed using advanced IP-based technology, but also rich and robust data can be more efficiently and smartly shared with the appropriate agents in the field, allowing public safety to take advantage of expanded situational awareness. He also envisions AT&T’s history for working with first responders as the right solution.  Mark also stated, “Not only does ESInet have the ability to provide fast call transfers, but also allows sharing of information between PSAPs. This pre-built national architecture can be used to accelerate PSAP adoption and greatly reduce implementation time frames.”

Representatives from the AT&T FirstNet Program Strategy and Policy Team discussed how FirstNet interconnects with NG911 systems.  Ryan Burchnell, Director of Strategy and Policy, discussed how the FirstNet Private Mobile Connection service can be used to establish a formal interconnection between an NG911 system and the FirstNet network. As PSAPs transition from Legacy TDM systems, he suggested they won’t just receive calls in the future but also text messages (as some already are) and images, video, and other multimedia from the public.  “All that information has to be gathered by the dispatcher and telecommunicator so they can transmit that information to first responders in the field,” Burchnell said.  Burchnell also described inter-agency collaboration with FirstNet and how Sheriffs, Fire Departments, and other Public Safety Entities (PSEs) can use the FirstNet Private Mobile Connection to extend their network to first responders in the field.

Carrie Johnson, Director of Strategy and Policy, talked about how the FirstNet Applications Ecosystem can serve as another platform for PSEs to securely share information with first responders and other public safety jurisdictions. AT&T launched the FirstNet Applications Ecosystem and an Application Developer Program.  Johnson said the Ecosystem provides a foundation for PSAPs to securely share and transfer information with first responders in the field.  Johnson said, “One example could be a sensor in a holster.  Anytime an officer draws his or her weapon an alert could be sent to dispatch letting dispatch know the officer is in trouble and needs backup. These new capabilities can ride on this network.”

The NENA Conference is this week in Nashville. AT&T will have a booth at the NENA Conference with theater presentations on ESInet and FirstNet on Monday, June 18 and Tuesday, June 19.

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