RD320 - Commonwealth of Virginia 9-1-1 Services Board FY2018 Annual Report
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
The commonwealth has been actively planning for Next Generation 9-1-1(NG9-1-1) for nearly a decade. NG9-1-1 is a solution based on a modern Internet Protocol (IP) network that has the ability to deliver calls to the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (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 like text, photos and videos. The backbone of this system is an Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet).
The commonwealth’s current 9-1-1 system is dependent on decades old technology and is tethered to voice-centric communications. Furthermore, 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 PSAPs. Given the significant advances of the capabilities and functionality of an NG9-1-1 network, the Board’s decision was not if Virginia would deploy NG9-1-1, but rather when and how the deployment of this new technology would occur.
As a result, the Board is leading Virginia’s efforts to transition an outdated 9-1-1 system into a digital network that is faster, more efficient, and has greater PSAP capabilities to better serve its citizens and visitors.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 2018, the Board has had a number of accomplishments:
• Approval of a NG9-1-1 Deployment Plan
• Completion and delivery of 122 NG9-1-1 plans to primary and secondary PSAPs that lays out how each PSAP will transition from their current state to full NG9-1-1
• Identification and recommendation of a procurement vehicle for localities to use to deploy NG9-1-1 in their PSAPs
• Distribution of NG9-1-1 GIS Data Report Cards to localities that contain an assessment of data readiness for NG9-1-1 and information on the conformance of GIS datasets to the Virginia Geospatial Data Standards
• Establishment of the NG9-1-1 Migration Program to provide funding to PSAPs for NG9-1-1 migration expenses throughout the NG9-1-1 deployment period
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 the following legislation for the 2019 General Assembly session to have the required cash flow to complete the implementation of NG9-1-1 by July 1, 2023:
• $30 million in borrowing authority for the Board from the Virginia Treasury
(ii) The need for changes in the E-911 funding mechanism provided to the Board, as appropriate
During their 2018 session, the General Assembly eliminated wireless cost recovery. This action resulted in a greater portion of the Wireless E-911 Fund (the “Fund") being available to fund the statewide migration to NG9-1-1. The grant program has also transitioned to function as a funding program to support NG9-1-1 PSAP migration efforts. The overall budget for this migration has been revised downward to approximately $47 million, but borrowing authority of $30 million is required to support the cash flow required to fund the deployment. As a result, the Board is not recommending an increase to the wireless surcharge rate at this time.
The Appropriations Act for the current biennium budget continues the transfer from the Fund of $3.7 million to the Virginia State Police (VSP) for costs incurred in answering wireless 9-1-1 calls and the transfer of $8 million 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.