State and Local Governments Are Slow to Adopt Next Generation 9-1-1 Systems, According to New Research from General Dynamics Information Technology

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NG9-1-1 Systems Improve Public Safety with Mobile Calling; Texting, Image and Video Data; and Geospatial Routing.

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“Mobile phones have surpassed land lines as the primary mode for calling 911,” said Ed Hudson, vice president and general manager, Public Safety Solutions, General Dynamics Information Technology (IT).

New research released today at the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Annual Conference shows that fewer than 10 percent of U.S. state and local governments have implemented Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems, and only 15 percent of organizations have set an implementation deadline for NG9-1-1.

“Mobile phones have surpassed land lines as the primary mode for calling 911. Yet many citizens do not realize how inexact location data from mobile phones can be, or that text messages may not reach traditional 9-1-1 call centers at all,” said Ed Hudson, vice president and general manager, Public Safety Solutions, General Dynamics Information Technology (IT). “To ensure public safety, it is vital that the critical 9-1-1 infrastructure is upgraded to support the most current means of communications.”

The survey, conducted by public sector market research firm Market Connections, Inc. and underwritten by General Dynamics Information Technology, shows survey respondents, who all had knowledge of their organization’s NG9-1-1 plans and public safety operations or technical knowledge, cite reliability (59 percent), caller location accuracy (52 percent) and expanded communication technology (51 percent) as the most important characteristics of the ideal NG9-1-1 solution. Yet only one-quarter of respondents said geospatial routing is important in the NG9-1-1 solution.

“Geospatial routing is clearly important in the NG9-1-1 solution because it directly impacts response times,” said Stephen Ashurkoff, certified emergency number professional (ENP) for General Dynamics IT Public Safety Solutions. “With geospatial routing, 9-1-1 calls are more likely to reach the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). Furthermore, accurate latitude and longitude information would result in more precision in finding a caller’s location. Geospatial routing with the correct coordinates is automatic and immediate, saving crucial seconds that could make the difference between life or death.”

NG9-1-1 systems enable state, county and municipal governments to bring their public safety systems up-to-par with the technologies citizens rely on—mobile calling; text, image and video data; and geospatial locating. Geospatical routing functionality also allows states, cities and counties to leverage their Geographic Information Systems (GIS) capabilities within their 911 organization—one of the top technological benefits of NG9-1-1 systems.

The full report is available for download at, along with a white paper outlining how organizations can move toward implementation and the full benefits of robust NG9-1-1 solutions now.

Research highlights Include:

  • Only nine percent of respondents report having operational systems in place. However, nearly 60 percent of state and local government agencies are in the discovery or planning phases of NG9-1-1 implementation.
  • Nearly four in 10 agencies (39 percent) plan to perform their NG9-1-1 upgrade in conjunction with other government entities, and states are nearly twice as likely as cities and counties to upgrade in conjunction with other government or regional entities.
  • Seventy percent of respondents say transitioning from a legacy system to a new system is the top concern regarding upgrading to NG9-1-1. And almost half of survey respondents (48 percent) are concerned with the unpredictable costs associated with a migration.
  • Cyber security in the new systems is a concern for 28 percent of respondents.
  • PSAP consolidation presents a lot of uncertainty. Nearly half (48 percent) of survey respondents said they are unsure whether their organization’s NG9-1-1 upgrade would include PSAP consolidation. Less than one-quarter (23 percent) said they will consolidate PSAPs and less than one-third (29 percent) said they will not.

About the Study
Market Connections, Inc. conducted the study of 150 state and local NG9-1-1 users, decision makers and influencers in November 2014 on behalf of General Dynamics Information Technology. Nearly 40 percent of respondents represent counties serving one million or more residents. Almost half of respondents represent cities with populations of 100,000 to 249,000. All respondents were somewhat or very knowledgeable about their organization’s NG9-1-1 plans, and the majority have public safety operations and technical knowledge.

About Market Connections, Inc.
Market Connections delivers actionable intelligence and insights that enable improved business performance and positioning for leading businesses, trade associations and the public sector. The custom market research firm is a sought-after authority on preferences, perceptions and trends among the public sector and the contractors who serve them, offering deep domain expertise in information technology and telecommunications; healthcare; and education. For more information visit:

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Matt Langan
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