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Washington State 511. 511 - Introduction. US Department of Transportation Petitioned the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for N11 for travel information (April 1999) FCC selected and approved 511 (July 2000) 5 year implementation period, with FCC review (could lose 511 if…).

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Washington state 511 l.jpg

Washington State 511

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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511 - Introduction

  • US Department of Transportation Petitioned the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) for N11 for travel information (April 1999)

  • FCC selected and approved 511 (July 2000)

  • 5 year implementation period, with FCC review (could lose 511 if…)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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N11 codes - 8 available(there will never be an area code using N11)

  • 011 - not available, for switching & routing

  • 111 - not available, for switching & routing

  • 211 - social services referral (FCC, 2000)

  • 311 - non-emergency calls (FCC, 1997) Sea

  • 411 - not assigned nationally by FCC, but used for directory assistance

  • 511 - travel information (FCC, 2000)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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N11 codes - continued

  • 611 - not assigned nationally by FCC, but used by some phone company repair offices

  • 711 - access to Telecommunications Relay Services (FCC, 1997), operational in WA

  • 811 - underground utility locate services (call before you dig) (FCC, 2005)Live 07

  • 911 - emergency calls to police/fire (set by national law in 1999)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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511 - Background

  • Washington State population 6,488,000 (OFM April 1, 2007 estimate)

  • Fixed phone service market share in Washington

    • 50% Qwest (formerly US West)

    • 25% Verizon (formerly GTE)

    • 25% Various smaller phone companies

  • Fixed phone service regulated by WUTC

  • Cell companies not regulated by WUTC

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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9 Cell Phone Companies

  • Qwest Wireless

  • Sprint (includes Nextel)

  • AT&T Wireless (includes Cingular)

  • T-Mobile (formerly VoiceStream)

  • Verizon Wireless

  • U.S. Cellular

  • CellularOne

  • Inland Cellular

  • Rural Cellular Corporation

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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27 Land Line Phone Cos.

CenturyTel, Com-Tech Systems, Inc

Comcast Digital Phone (formerly AT&T), Echelon Telecom

Electric Lightwave

Ellensburg Telephone Company, Hood Canal Telephone Company, Inc

Inland Telephone Company, Integra Telecom, Midvale Telephone

Northwest Telephone, Inc, Pend Oreille Telephone Company

Qwest Communications (formerly U.S. West)

Rainier Connect, Mashell Telecom, Local Access CommunicationsDBA: The Rainier Group

SmartStop, Inc, Sprint LTD, St John Telephone

TDS Telecom, Time Warner, Toledo Telephone Company, Inc

Verizon NW (formerly GTE), Whidbey Telephone Company

Wahkiakum West Telco, XO Communications, Ycom Networks

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Legacy and Predicted Demand

  • Legacy Numbers:387,000 calls/month

    800-84FERRY, 888-808-7977, 206-464-6400, 800-695-7623 (ROAD), 206-368-4499 (DOT-HIWY), 800-419-9085 (Hood Canal Bridge), and others.

  • Predicted for 511: 541,800 calls/month

  • Peak month: 421,600 calls Jan 06 (snow)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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511 – Middle Ground

  • Initially used voice-responsive system

    • Safety concerns

  • Multi-phase:

    • Phase 1, bare-bones (48 ports)

    • Phase 1B, more capacity (96 ports)

    • Phase 2, ultimate plan (now at 192 ports), as of March 2007. System appears robust, so far.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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2004

  • Touch tone capability added

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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2006 Upgrade

  • Increased ports to 192

  • Direct connection to WSF

  • Redundant system with WSF

  • Upgraded speech recognition software

  • Increase refresh rate

  • Caller ID

  • Amber alert

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Usage

  • Summer = 40,000 calls per month

  • Winter = 450,000 calls per month

  • Total calls (2007) = 1.58 million

  • 7 millionth call = August 2008

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Application Overview

  • The 511 System serves as a portal to a variety of Washington travel-related information systems. Later phases of system deployment may include information from surrounding states and provinces.(Direct connection to Oregon began Nov 04). Idaho and BC not yet.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Application Overview

  • The main dialog prompts the caller for the information they are seeking (and since Nov 04, a touch-tone option). They are asked to select from the following in the voice-only area (reduced selection in touch-tone):

    • Real-time traffic for the central Puget Sound area

    • Roadway conditions and construction information

    • Mountain passes (road restrictions and weather)

    • Ferry Information (direct link, anyway)

    • Other {express lane status, public transit (phone numbers only), passenger rail (phone numbers only), airline information (phone numbers only), adjacent states and provinces (phone numbers only)}.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Application Overview

  • Weather information for any city in state

    Dial 511 from any phone

    Say, “Weather.”

    Say any city name

    Hear current and forecast weather

    Based on location coordinates and UW weather information feed

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Public Acceptance

  • Customer survey in 2005

    • 649 participants

  • Usability testing

    • 6 participants

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Survey Results

  • Information from 511 used to change travel plans

  • Users generally satisfied

  • Voice recognition needs improvement

  • More statewide information

  • Likely to use the system again (87%)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Current Issues

  • Private branch exchanges (PBXs) may need to be programmed to allow a 511 call to gain access to the public switched network.

  • External Marketing: PSAs, VMSs, HARs, 60 fixed signs statewide, brochures, fridge magnets, message on existing toll-free line.

  • Internal marketing

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Lesson Learned

  • Voice-only doesn’t work with cell phones all the time because of background noise. Why? Cell phone microphones are designed to pick up a large radius of sound, since the microphone is not placed directly in front of the mouth. This means any background noises are also picked up. It is hard for voice recognition software to separate the voice and the background. So touch-tone capability was added.

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Lesson Learned

  • WSDOT’s approach was to own or lease equipment and operate system in-house

    • Total deployment cost = $1.4 million

    • O & M costs (07-09 biennium) = $724,000

  • Other state DOTs chose to lease service

    • Low initial cost

    • Fee per call

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Benefits to Travelers

  • Cell phone users have access to subset of information on Internet

  • Ferry system changes

  • ADA information for disabled travelers

  • 511 can be almost “hands free”

  • Real time traffic information (Seattle now, VAST in future?-get detection installed)

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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511 Deployment Status

as of September 4, 2007

= 511 Operational (“Live”)

Accessible by 44.4% of Population

Accessible by 44.4% of Population

= Expected “Live” in 2008

D.C.

Accessible by 65% of Population in 2008


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Future Plans/Issues

  • One-stop-shop for all travel information

    • Transit, trains, airlines, etc.

  • Level of integration

    • Local, statewide, regional, national

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Homework

  • Case 1 Technologies

    • Bluetooth

    • RFID

    • RFID + LPI/R

    • LPR

    • Good to Go tags

    • GPS units

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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Homework

  • Case 2 technologies

    • GPS

    • Cell phones

WA State 511 September 26, 2007


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