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Grants boost NG911 migrations

The Departments of Commerce and Transportation announced they had awarded more than $109 million in grants to 34 states and two tribal nations as part of the 911 Grant Program. The grants will help 911 call centers migrate to IP-enabled emergency networks, adopt NG911 services and applications, connect with emergency response organizations and train public safety personnel in 911 services.

NG911 will replace the existing analog 911 infrastructure and allow digital information -- voice, photos, videos, text messages --to flow seamlessly from the public through the 911 network and on  to first responders. It will also help them deal with call overload, disaster response and day-to-day transfer of 911 calls to other jurisdictions.

The funding will allow states to make basic improvements to 911 emergency call centers, such as providing digital and IP network capabilities and implementing mapping systems that will make it easier to identify a 911 caller’s location.

“Advances in public safety technology will allow critical information to flow seamlessly from the public, through the 911 networks and on to first responders,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These 911 grant awards are a significant step toward a faster, more resilient emergency system.”

“These grants will boost public safety through 911 systems enhanced with new capabilities such as text message, image and video processing, advanced mapping and other improvements,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

Grants were available to states, territories, tribal nations and the District of Columbia that submitted a state 911 plan and budget, designated a 911 coordinator and certified that they did not use funds designated for 911 systems for other purposes in the past 180 days.

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