Public safety agencies around the world are moving to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) IP-based networks and call-handling equipment, significantly enhancing their response and decision-making capabilities during stressful emergency situations. Through the power of these NG9-1-1 networks, Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) —the centers that receive and handle 9-1-1 calls—and other first responders can now receive and share important information previously unavailable via traditional 9-1-1 services.
Many public safety agencies still rely on legacy 9-1-1 call handling infrastructures, which are mostly comprised of inflexible and soon-to-be-obsolete technologies that offer only limited functions. NG9-1-1 represents a much-needed industry transformation from voice-centric legacy enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) networks to IP based networks.
Comtech offers one of the most comprehensive NG9-1-1 end-to-end in-house systems available today, a distinction that earned the company the Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Award for North American Next Generation 9-1-1 Product Line Strategy Leadership.
Comtech partners with local, state, and provincial governments and public safety agencies to share its industry-leading NG9-1-1 network and call management solutions. These solutions enable PSAPs to leverage new technologies, deploy improved location-based services, and deliver secure and reliable communications when they matter most.
Many public safety organizations throughout North America are already implementing Comtech’s NG9-1-1 technologies and services. One example of Comtech’s NG9-1-1 efforts can be seen in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania’s Move to the Future of Emergency Response Technologies
In November 2020, Comtech announced a contract with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) to design, deploy, and operate NG9-1-1 services statewide. Through this partnership, Comtech’s team of project managers and engineers, Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists, Network Operations Center (NOC) staff, and other personnel work hand in hand with PEMA and over 60 of the Pennsylvania’s PSAPs to help enable the transition to NG9-1-1 services.
In September 2022, Comtech migrated its first Northern Tier region PSAP in Pennsylvania to deliver the first native National Emergency Number Association (NENA) i3 NG9-1-1 technologies in the Commonwealth. In October, only one month later, Comtech reached another key milestone in Pennsylvania, completing the final Northern Tier region PSAP migration to the new statewide NG9-1-1 system. In addition, 11 more PSAPs in the WestCore region were migrated onto the NG9-1-1 solution in January and February 2023. With these upgrades complete, and NG9-1-1 enabled technologies now available to 17% of PSAPs, 31% of the state’s residents have access to some of the most cutting-edge emergency service rapid response capabilities when seeking help from first responders.
PEMA selected Comtech to implement and operate its NG9-1-1 system due to the company’s unique and progressive approach to building out the NG9-1-1 services. Comtech’s NG9-1-1 upgrade for the state of Pennsylvania includes a new state-of-the-art system specifically designed for the state’s PSAPs and is unlike any other in existence today. At its core is a unique fiber optic Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) for transporting 9-1-1 calls, multimedia, and other communications data, with calls processing via geographically diverse and redundant data centers. Comtech’s NG9-1-1 PEMA upgrade also includes enhanced Geographic Information System (GIS) data, which helps pinpoint the location of 9-1-1 callers—significantly reducing 9-1-1 call transfers and enhancing preparedness and rapid response capabilities.
Comtech’s customized N9-1-1 systems and services for PEMA not only address today’s needs, but the company’s NG9-1-1 system is also designed to evolve over time to address the emerging and future needs of PEMA as well as other public safety agencies across the state. With Comtech’s futureproof NG9-1-1 network, PEMA can implement advanced cloud-based capabilities such as shared GIS, hosted computer aided dispatch, real-time video, and other future applications.
Staying A Step Ahead in Canada
Comtech is also moving emergency services to the next generation of public safety technologies in Canada. A recent government mandate in Canada requires all PSAP agencies to upgrade to next-generation capable call management systems by March 2025. Similar to the United States, many public safety agencies in Canada still rely on legacy technologies that severely limit emergency response and preparedness.
To stay one step ahead, multiple public safety agencies in Canada are turning to Comtech to deliver NG9-1-1 upgrades ahead of the 2025 government mandate.
In 2022, Comtech was awarded multiple contracts to install and maintain its Solacom NG9-1-1 system for a major group of PSAPs in Ontario, providing them with a purpose-built NG9-1-1 solution designed to meet the requirements of the CRTC mandate as well as future customer needs. The contracts also includes Comtech’s new data analytics platform, call and incident location mapping, and full maintenance support including Comtech’s cybersecurity managed service package. This powerful suite of Comtech’s Solacom Guardian technologies and services will ensure these Ontario public safety agencies remain a step ahead and continue to provide the most advanced, secure, and resilient rapid response capabilities available.
As one of the most trusted providers of emergency services and technologies, Comtech is continuing to expand its NG9-1-1 offerings for public safety agencies, governments, and other emergency response providers around the world. The company’s NG9-1-1 systems are designed to adapt and continuously evolve over time to meet the needs of emerging use cases as well as future Internet of Things (IoT) applications. To learn more, please visit www.comtech.com
Forward Looking Statements
Certain information in this blog contains statements that are forward-looking in nature and involve certain significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and performance could differ materially from such forward-looking information. The Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings identify many such risks and uncertainties. Any forward-looking information in this press release is qualified in its entirety by the risks and uncertainties described in such Securities and Exchange Commission filings.