RD289 - Commonwealth of Virginia 9-1-1 Services Board FY 2017 Annual Report – October 1, 2017
The Code of Virginia (§ 56-484.14) requires the 9-1-1 Services Board (the “Board”) to report annually to the Governor, the Senate Committee on Finance, the House Committee on Appropriations, and the Virginia State Crime Commission on the following:
(i) the state of enhanced 9-1-1 services in the Commonwealth,
(ii) the impact of, or need for, legislation affecting enhanced 9-1-1 services in the Commonwealth,
(iii) the need for changes in the E-911 funding mechanism provided to the Board, as appropriate, and
(iv) monitor developments in enhanced 9-1-1 service and multi-line telephone systems and the impact of such technologies upon the implementation of Article 8 (§ 56-484.19 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 56.
› The state of enhanced 9-1-1 services in the commonwealth
Currently, the 9-1-1 system in the commonwealth is dependent on decades old technology and is tethered to voice-centric communications. It relies on an analog network that is quickly going out of service and places limitations on the reliable delivery of 9-1-1 service to Virginia Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). Over the next few years, 9-1-1 service providers will be decommissioning the selective router pairs that comprise the foundation of this legacy analog network. To overcome these significant challenges, the commonwealth is transitioning to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1).
NG9-1-1 is a solution based on a modern Internet Protocol (IP) network that has the ability to deliver calls to the appropriate PSAP faster, transfer 9-1-1 calls and associated data anywhere needed, interconnect with other public safety systems and databases, and securely receive multimedia communications. The backbone of this system is an Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet), essentially a network-of-networks, built to a set of standards to ensure interoperability.
The Board is leading Virginia’s efforts to transform an outdated 9-1-1 system into a digital network that is faster, more efficient, and has greater PSAP capabilities to better serve its citizens and visitors. Throughout FY 2017, the Board has had a number of accomplishments, the majority of which directly support NG9-1-1:
• Development of an NG9-1-1 cost model
• Completion of an NG9-1-1 staffing analysis
• Creation of best practices and standards
• Identification of budgetary data for PSAP standard capabilities and services
• Deployment statewide of the Emergency Call Tracking System (ECaTS) reporting tool
• Refocusing of the PSAP Grant Program to help fund NG9-1-1 deployment
• Continued commitment to the statewide deployment of Text to 9-1-1
Currently, all localities within the commonwealth provide wireless enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) phase I and phase II service, as well as wireline E9-1-1 service.
› (ii) The impact of, or need for, legislation affecting enhanced wireless emergency telecommunications services in the Commonwealth
The Board has proposed legislation for the 2018 General Assembly session. The following is a summary of the Board’s legislative agenda:
• Elimination of wireless cost recovery for wireless service providers
• All communications service providers required to provide access to 9-1-1 at least cost to the commonwealth or PSAP
• Establish the Board to define points of interconnection (POI) for the network
• Establish priority for grants focused on NG9-1-1
• Incorporate “population” and remove “cost” in the funding formula
› (ii) The need for changes in the E-911 funding mechanism provided to the Board, as appropriate
The retirement of the current analog network will have a significant impact on Virginia PSAPs. The transition from our current legacy analog network to a statewide ESInet is no longer an optional undertaking. Virginia PSAPs must complete this transition in the next five years to ensure quality service is maintained to their citizens and visitors. In addition, this transition has the potential to create a significant financial burden to the commonwealth and localities. To minimize this burden, the Board has developed a funding strategy that utilizes existing wireless E-911 revenues and borrowing from the State Treasury.
The Appropriations Act for the current biennium budget continues the transfer of $3.7 million to the Virginia State Police (VSP) and the transfer of $8 million from the Wireless E-911 Fund (the “Fund”) to the Compensation Board to pay the salaries of sheriffs’ dispatchers. These transfers may impact the commonwealth’s ability to receive federal funding in the future.
› Monitor developments in enhanced 9-1-1 service and multi-line telephone systems
This is a duty of the Board that was enacted on July 1, 2007. Most of the provisions of Article 8 (§ 56-484.19 et seq.) of Chapter 15 of Title 56 took effect on July 1, 2009. The Board continues to monitor developments.