Alexandria, VA – The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) praised Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Ranking Member Kay-Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) for working together to include support for Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) in the SPECTRUM Act. “This is a significant step in advancing our nation’s public safety services,” said NENA President, Steve O’Conor, ENP. “We are grateful to Senator Klobuchar for her fierce dedication to improving 9-1-1 systems across the United States, and to Chairman Rockefeller and Senator Hutchison for recognizing the central role of 9-1-1 in an integrated emergency communications environment.”
The SPECTRUM Act, intended to provide funding and additional spectrum for a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network, will now include language that promotes the deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1. NG9-1-1 will enable Public Safety Answering Points to accept multimedia “calls” that include voice, text, pictures, and video – the critical link between citizens in need and emergency assistance. Senator Kobuchar’s amendments will require the Federal Government to conduct two studies: one aimed at estimating the cost of deploying NG9-1-1 throughout the nation, and the other at understanding Federal and state regulatory barriers to NG9-1-1 implementation.
Trey Forgety, NENA’s Director of Government Affairs, stated that “As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, ensuring a seamless, end-to-end communications system between the nearly 260 million citizens who dial 9-1-1 each year and the emergency responders who assist them should be one of our nation’s top priorities. Senators Rockefeller, Hutchison, and Klobuchar have shown tremendous leadership in this area, and we look forward to working with them to secure the support of the entire Senate.