Tennessee moves to upgrade 911 system into digital network
| 10.25.2006 | 03:15:39 | Views: 2722 | ID:
October 25 '06: State officials in Tennessee have voted to begin construction on an infrastructure modernization plan which would digitally connect the state's 911 and responder emergency systems into a centralized network, the Associated Press reported this week.
The project called "Next Generation 911" would use fiber optic cables rather than conventional telephone lines allowing for video, picture and voice data to travel over the same line.Lynn Questell, the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board's executive director told the AP, Next Generation 911 will "help emergency workers talk to each other faster and easier. ... It will also make everything more reliable. ... We're not able to take advantage of the new, fast, more reliable 911 Internet protocol networks that we're wanting to put in," so they decided to build the infrastructure. Currently, the federal government is designing similar systems which would move the 911 emergency communications system into one that centers on a "foundation for public emergency communications services in a wireless mobile society." Having fiber optic cables sending the information to responders would mean that more data could flow into the proper channels more quickly, officials told the AP. Videos and pictures of a disaster site or at an accident would help responders prepare even before the arrived at the scene. Tennessee officials said the project should begin within a year with a completion date of 2011. A similar project in Indiana cost about $6 million per year, with daily maintenance costs hovering around $150,000.
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