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North Carolina’s 911 System Achieves Major Milestones to Improve Emergency Response



In an emergency, people count on access to 911 services regardless of their location or the communication technology they use. The N.C. 911 Board, a division of the N.C. Department of Information Technology, recently completed a years-long effort to modernize the state’s 911 system, helping ensure that everyone in North Carolina can quickly reach emergency services.


Following Anson County’s 911 upgrade, all 125 public safety answering points, or PSAPs, that receive funding from the N.C. 911 Board are now part of the Next Generation 911 network. This system replaces the previous analog system that had been in place for decades with a managed internet protocol-based network.


North Carolina’s NG911 network utilizes AT&T ESInet™. NG911 allows for the secure routing of digital information—including landline calls, cell phone calls and text messages—to the appropriate PSAP based on geographic location. It also provides high-speed data network connections that allow every PSAP to serve as a backup for others on the system in the event of a natural disaster or an overload of emergency calls.“We now have the redundancy and resiliency to ensure 911 calls are handled as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said Jim Weaver, NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer, who also chairs the N.C. 911 Board. “This is a tremendous achievement for the people of North Carolina and would not have been accomplished without close collaboration among the board, the state’s PSAPs and our vendor partners.”


“NextGen 911 really is NowGen 911 for North Carolina,” said L.V. Pokey Harris, executive director of the N.C. 911 Board. “This network not only better supports callers, but also gives our telecommunicators and emergency responders the data-rich information they need to effectively do their jobs and ultimately save lives throughout our state.


”North Carolina began the transition to NG911 in November 2018, when Durham 911 became the first PSAP in the nation to join AT&T ESInet, utilizing a hosted call solution and text messaging. Anson County 911 moved to NG911 at the end of February and is the first PSAP in the country to migrate all its landline, wireless and IP telephony providers directly to AT&T ESInet. North Carolina is the only state in the country to implement a Network Monitoring and Assistance Center (NMAC) in 2019 to continuously monitor the service and performance of the network statewide.


“AT&T is committed to improving the safety of the communities we serve by evolving 9-1-1 call centers across the country with AT&T ESInet,” said Matt Walsh, AVP – FirstNet and NextGen 9-1-1 Products, AT&T. “This is a crucial milestone for public safety in North Carolina – and it’s only the beginning. With the latest technology, North Carolina can continue to help call takers do their jobs more efficiently and provide top-notch emergency response for the community.”


Marking another notable milestone for the state’s 911 system, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro recently became the first military installation in North Carolina, and one of the first in the nation, to connect to AT&T ESInet.As part of the transition to NG911, the N.C. 911 Board has also worked with its partners within NCDIT to develop a statewide geodatabase, allowing the system to accurately pinpoint a caller’s location, which is critical for mobile calls.


About the N.C. 911 Board

A unit of the N.C. Department of Information Technology, the N.C. 911 Board contracts for the Next Generation 911 network and administers funding to public safety answering points (PSAPs) to create an enhanced statewide 911 system. PSAPs are operated by and under the jurisdiction of counties and other local government entities. 


A single, statewide service charge per connection for any type of voice communication service provider goes to the 911 Fund, which the N.C. 911 Board manages and distributes funds from to support 125 PSAPs in the state. NCDIT Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Jim Weaver serves as the N.C. 911 Board's chair. 

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