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911 Service Provider Held Accountable

ECN Testifies at PUC Hearing
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 Future of 911 in Minnesota

Dispatcher receives Text to 911
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.

Interoperable Public Safety Communications

​The Statewide Emergency Communications Board provides leadership to set the vision, priorities and technical roadmap for interoperable communications and alert and warnings across the state.

The board's priorities are to:
  • Ensure advances in technology will be implemented to enhance the ability for all residents to call for help.
  • Provide confidence that responders in every corner of the state have the ability to communicate with each other during an emergency.
  • Enable all counties to effectively alert and warn residents and visitors of impending danger.

Text-to-911 Recognized for Communication Outreach

ECN Accepts Access Award for Text-to-911
At a mere 15 months old, Text-to-911 has already been used copiously by deaf and hearing people alike.

And in early March, at the Minnesota state capitol rotunda, it was recognized by the deaf, deafblind and hard-of hearing community as helping to contribute to communication equity – that is, the concept that everyone, regardless of ability, should be able to gain access to the information and services they need.

It’s called the Access Award, and you can learn more about it – and how Text-to-911 earned it – in our latest DPS blog.