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Next Generation 911. To the average person, that phrase may not mean much. But for Minnesota’s first responders—like fire, police and EMS—that information superhighway is drastically improving the way they go about their lifesaving work. Minnesota started implementing portions of its Next Generation 911 (NG911) system in 2011. In the years since, we’ve added a digital network for all 911 dispatch centers as well as Text-to-911. And we’re not done! The next tool will allow for enhanced location accuracy for 911 calls coming from wireless lines. This capability will improve response times and help save more lives. This case study (page 11) explains how Minnesota’s NG911 system operates on its own and in tandem with a new dedicated wireless broadband network for public safety called FirstNet.
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has directed CenturyLink to take steps to ensure the state’s 911 service is dependable. The unanimous vote followed a Department of Commerce and a Department of Public Safety investigation into the August 2018 911 outage across the state that led to 693 failed calls. The PUC’s order directed CenturyLink to:
The PUC’s order follows the recommendations laid out by ECN and the DOC during the joint investigation.
Watch the PUC hearing here.
The dedicated public safety wireless broadband network known as FirstNet is being developed nationwide. While that work continues, Minnesota agencies are coming together to determine how to best utilize the services it will provide. Minnesota’s FirstNet roadmap will guide coverage, services, user experiences and security on the network. Recently, Wireless Broadband Program Manager Melinda Miller and ECN Director Dana Wahlberg traveled to Arizona, where representatives from 39 other states engaged in roadmap discussions. While there, Minnesota was highlighted as one of four states that has started this important work, which will ultimately influence the roadmap for the entire nation. Learn more about wireless broadband in Minnesota. Learn more about FirstNet.
Minnesota now has several ways for people who are deaf or hard of hearing to contact 911 in an emergency. The most familiar are TTY and videophones, but the most recent technology to be deployed is Text-to-911.Our partners at the Commission of the Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing have put together a video tutorial on the dos and don’ts of using Text-to-911 in Minnesota. We encourage you to watch and share it with people who may benefit from this service.Learn more about the Text-to-911 program.
Video Description: Call if you can, text if you can't. Learn about Text-to-911.