New Statewide NG911 System Approved

Courteousy of Herald Citizen

Local 911 centers are getting much-needed upgrades to help keep up with the fast-paced development of technology. Last week, the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board voted to adopt a funding plan for the Next Generation 911 (NG 911) project that will distribute $25 million to local Emergency Communications Districts this year. To assist in the upgrades, Putnam County will receive approximately $261,000 in funding. "We planned for (this upgrade) when we built the new building," said Randy Porter, Putnam County's 911 director and chair of the state Emergency Communications Board. "We're replacing the old, antiquated log network with digital capabilities. "Once this project is complete, Tennesseans will have access to the best technology to coordinate emergency response," he continued.


The new system would allow phone calls from Internet phone services and could able to handle the many capabilities of today's cell phones. At the same time, there is a statewide digital 911 infrastructure being constructed. "This upgrade would allow one-touch transfers," Porter said.


A resolution is also moving through the Tennessee General Assembly urging local 911 call centers to accept text messages. "The technology (to accept text messages) just isn't there yet," Porter said. "There are still too many technical issues to work through. Hopefully, sometime in the near future, we'll be able to accept text messages." The upgrade will take about two years to complete and will begin in Putnam County late this year or early next year.

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