December 5, 2023

Upgraded 911 System Will Accept Video and Images

Existing system to phase out in 2025

Article by Valerie MacDonald

In the not-too-distant future, those using 911 will be expected to send images and video from their location.

Bell Canada New Generation (NG)911 Service will completely replace the existing 911 system that will make this technically possible in the next three years.

This new 911 technology permitting people to send video and images will have improved location information the County’s emergency co-ordinator Ken Stubbings told the County’s Corporate Service committee members during their May 3 meeting.

Bell is the network provider for the county and the County has, “the authority for the county for 911 (delivery),” Stubbings said. The exceptions are Port Hope and Cobourg which have their own emergency response network, he added. 

The County’s 911 system is interlinked with Lindsay’s Central Ambulance Communications Centre and Peterborough Fire Dispatch. The OPP have their own network, he explained.

At this time, these organizations are “working to complete” the necessary changes in order to meet the transition to NG911 service while the County is “working towards compliance” with its own Geographical Information System (GIS) which provides addressing information for Port Hope, Hamilton Township, Alnwick/Haldimand and Cramahe, he said.

The Enhanced 911 Service was initiated through the CRTC back in 2017 when it “examined how 911 networks and services need to evolve to take advantage of technological advancements while addressing the evolving needs and communications methods,” stated Stubbings’ report to the committee. 

The CRTC mandated Bell to implement the NG911 plan and “ideally the County should sign the new Authority Service Agreement prior to September 2022.”

The new system will provide Public Answering Points “with more timely and accurate location,” but 911 callers “will still be asked…to validate the location of the emergency.”

“In the coming years, most telecommunications networks across Canada, including the originating networks used to make 911 calls, will continue to transition to Internet Protocol technology.”

Present technology with its 911 delivery system will be decommissioned on March 4, 2025 and the new NG911 will be fully in effect at that time.

The cost of the new agreement with Bell is unknown. 

The financial impact for the fire dispatch in the County (which looks broadcasts for is also unknown.

#northumberlandcounty, #911, #Bell,


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