911 Enable's Microsoft-Friendly Tool: A Timely Offering
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
They say timing is everything, and when 911 Enable, a division of Connexon Telecom, announced an E911 offering for Microsoft (News - Alert) Communications Server “14” earlier this week, the truth of that statement was evident.
Working together with Microsoft, 911 Enable officials say, the company adapted its Emergency Routing Service for E911 capabilities for Communications Server “14” deployments.
Given the rise of E911 legislation across more and more states – Utah, Massachusetts and Virginia have enacted laws in the past year – it’s worthwhile looking at what the Congressional E-911 Caucus is doing about the issue.
TMC (News - Alert) recently reported how Virginia’s new enhanced 911 law “is a comprehensive, sweeping measure that affects all multi-line telephony systems providers and includes no grandfather clause, an expert and public official who help craft the legislation said this week.”
Samuel Keys, Jr., public safety communications regional coordinator for the Virginia IT Agency’s public safety division, noted that “(Automatic location information) is required from every station, meaning that if you have a telephony instrument that goes through a PBX (News - Alert), it needs to have location information, and that’s a physical address, in some cases a street address with a specific suite.”
911 Enable’s (News - Alert) ERS is an E911 SIP trunking service that provides connectivity to Public Safety Answering Points across the United States. When 911 is dialed, the ERS routes the emergency call and the caller’s accurate location information to the appropriate PSAP, based on the caller’s discovered location.
A 911 caller’s discovered location is directly extracted by the ERS from the SIP signaling originating from Microsoft’s location-aware end points. The ERS also helps organizations meet their state E911 regulations, ensures on-site security are notified of all emergency situations, and supports off-campus users in a manner that is both elegant and simple to manage.
The technology has governmental momentum on the state and federal levels. As TMCnet reported recently, a law went into effect in Massachusetts for new requirements for enhanced 911, or “E911,” requiring that “any new or substantially renovated multi-line telephone system must offer the same level of E911 services provided to people in the state, including enterprise VoIP users.”
The Congressional E-911 Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA (News - Alert)), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MI), and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), is introducing legislation to upgrade America’s 9-1-1 call center technology nationwide, according to caucus officials:
“The Next Generation 9-1-1 Preservation Act of 2010 reauthorizes key grants and programs to ensure continued funding for the nation’s 6,000 9-1-1 centers and programs. The Senate will introduce the measure on Monday, while the House introduced their version today.”
According to the Federal Communications Commission, some states have a history of diverting their 9-1-1 funds to support other programs. The Next Generation 9-1-1 Preservation Act prevents states that divert funds from receiving the grants in the legislation.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Edited by Alice Straight