Working group 10 911 prioritization
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Working Group #10 911 Prioritization. March, 2013 Jeanna Green, Network Development 911, Sprint, Co-Chair Thera Bradshaw, CEO, TKC Consulting, Co-Chair. Working Group #10: 911 Prioritization. Description : 

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Working Group #10 911 Prioritization

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Working group 10 911 prioritization

Working Group #10 911 Prioritization

  • March, 2013

    • Jeanna Green, Network Development 911, Sprint, Co-Chair

    • Thera Bradshaw, CEO, TKC Consulting, Co-Chair


Working group 10 911 prioritization1

Working Group #10: 911 Prioritization

  • Description: 

  • The working group shall explore ways to ensure that 9-1-1 is available when emergencies or disasters cause a surge in mobile network use. The work will include considerations of how 9-1-1 traffic might be prioritized in such situations. It also includes related operational issues, including ways for PSAPs to address operational issues. 

  • The WG may consider ways to reduce traffic load during emergencies, such as encouragement of use of 911 text as a lower throughput alternative to 911 voice.  If the WG pursues arrangements that give 911 calls higher priority than most consumer wireless calls, the WG may consider how to coordinate 911 priority with other priority calling arrangements, including Wireless Priority Service (WPS), and other arrangements that may provide priority for calls for emergency and first responders.  The WG will address implementations in 4G and earlier generation wireless networks; and will consider both E911 and NG911 implementations


Working group 10 participants

Working Group #10 – Participants

  • Working Group #10 Members and Organization

    Jeanna Green, Sprint, Co-Chair

    Thera Bradshaw, TKC Consulting, Co-Chair

    Charles Cullen, Palo Alto 911 Communication Center

    Chris Fisher, North East King County Regional Public Safety Communication Agency

    William Hinkle, Intrado

    Carl Klein, CenturyLink

    Joseph Marx, AT&T

    Ron Mathis, Intrado

    Peter Musgrove, ATIS

    Lawrence Rybar, Verizon

    Ray Singh, Applied Communication Sciences (formerly Telcordia Technologies)

    Jim Winegarden, CenturyLink


Working group project timeline

Working Group # - Project Timeline

  • Kick-off Meeting March 7 2012

  • Scheduled 22 Bi-Weekly Conference Calls

  • Completed Draft Review by WG #10: 02/13/2013

  • Report due to Steering Committee: 02/06/2013

    • was forward to 02/13/2013

    • Received comments back from DOT, which were addressed and final copy email 03/01/2013

  • Final report due to CSRIC members: 02/20/2013

    • Report was initially sent prior to finalization of Steering Committee comments.

    • Report resent 03/01/2013

  • Vote by full CSRIC: 03/06/2013


Working group 10 objectives

Working Group #10 - Objectives

  • High level bulleted Summary of Objectives

    • Scope Topics

    • Categorize different types of emergency & disaster calls.

    • Public Safety Operational Impacts and Considerations,

    • Reliability & Resiliency within today’s networks and the varying congestion points within the call flows.

    • Technological advancements and impacts of Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911).

    • Consumer Education

    • Existing Prioritization and Notification Services


Network architectures

Network Architectures

  • Network Architectures were reviewed to determine potential congestion points.


Emergency disaster classifications

Emergency/Disaster Classifications

  • Classified unique aspects of emergency/disaster scenarios and the impact on both wireline and wireless traffic. Each classification listed below provides information if the scenario is considered widespread or focused, degrees of damage, and whether or not there is capability to provide advanced notice to public.

    • Widespread

      • Major Damage/Advanced Warning (Hurricanes)

      • Major Damage/Minimal to No Warning (Earthquakes)

    • More Focused Event

      • Major Damage/Minimal to No Warning (Tornados, Derechos, Bridge Collapses, Railroad derailment, etc.)

      • No Warning (Terrorist Attacks, Mass shootings, etc.)

    • Very Focused Event

      • Minor Damage/No Warning (Automobile Accidents, Building Fires, etc.)


Public safety operational impacts and considerations

Public Safety Operational Impacts and Considerations

  • PSAP staffing is based on an average call volume formula that determines number of call taker positions necessary to meet average or normal demands for service.

  • Factors such as the number of busy signals and abandoned call ratios are also used as indicators to help ensure 9-1-1 calls are being answered within the standards set by the individual PSAPs policy.

  • Individual PSAP have a number of wireless providers, wire line providers, and VoIP providers that will have traffic destined for the PSAP.

  • Emergency calls to 9-1-1 should have priority over non-emergency calls, but the PSAP may not have adequate staff to answer the calls.

  • It is important to recognize that in today’s technological environment the PSAP has a finite number of 9-1-1 call taker positions, and depending on the scale and magnitude of the event some calls may simply not be answered


Psap classifications

PSAP Classifications

  • Large PSAPs

    Large PSAPs have 50 or more call taker positions; approximately 1% of all PSAPs fall into this category.

  • Medium PSAPs

    Medium PSAPs are characterized as having between 6 and 49 call taker positions; approximately 19% of all PSAPs fall into this category.

  • Small PSAPs

    Small PSAPs have between one and five positions; approximately 80% of PSAPs are in this category.

    These categories where defined within a white paper; “A Next Generation 911 Cost Study; A Basis for Public Funding Essentials to Bringing a Nationwide Next Generation 911 Network to America’s Communications Users and First Responders”. Published by the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau September 2011.


Prioritization or notification services currently available

Prioritization or Notification Services Currently Available

Background information of existing services is provided in the final report including:

  • Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS)

  • Wireless Priority Service (WPS)

  • National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP)

  • Next Generation Network Priority Service (NGN-PS)

  • Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS)


4g networks lte

4G Networks (LTE)

  • The radio link protocol used for LTE provides a mechanism to communicate priority for packet access (LTE is a packet based network). For example in LTE, Access Class Barring provides a priority to 911. Also, 911 may be assigned a higher Allocation Retention Priority (ARP) to improve call admission.  

  • It is conceivable that prioritization of 9-1-1 on LTE networks could be achieved to communicate the priority initiation. This would be similar to the upgrade from Phase I to Phase II Wireless E9-1-1.

  • LTE networks are in the early stages of development. As networks mature upgrades are possible. The final report notes that it would provide little to no value to prioritize ‘911’ calls on the radio link if end to end priority isn’t addressed (including the staffing at the PSAPs to answer prioritized 911 calls).


Summary and recommendation

Summary and Recommendation

  • WG 10 examined the existing 9-1-1 infrastructure for wireline and wireless 9-1-1 calls. It was concluded adding prioritization for emergency calls on the existing access network is difficult offering limited value. Today 9-1-1 call volume is constricted by available trunk lines and the number of 9-1-1 personnel on duty to handle emergency calls.

  • NG911 allows more opportunities for 9-1-1 call prioritization. NG911 can potentially minimize bottlenecks in the emergency network.

  • Prioritization on 4G wireless networks is a possibility but requires enhancements to both the network and handsets. Legacy handsets can not take advantage of the prioritization feature on the network. As the call capacity of the network is ultimately limited by the call-taker capacity, end-to-end prioritization on 4G networks is not viewed as a good solution. 

  • GETS and WPS were also considered both in the existing infrastructure. Prioritization methods similar to those used to support GETS and WPS could potentially be used to provide prioritization for 9-1-1 calls. Utilizing radio access queuing and network resource queuing in the existing infrastructure and in an NGN environment. Substantial issues exist attempting to use these prioritization methods for 911 calls. GETS and WPS were expressly designed for national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) personnel.


Summary and recommendation1

Summary and Recommendation

  • The committee identified a number of methods and strategies for PSAP’s to reduce overload and call volume.

    • A high number of 9-1-1 calls may be either non-emergency or duplicate reports of the same incident. 9-1-1 call-takers must have the ability to redirect the caller to the appropriate resource in the case of a non-emergency call or ascertain if the call is a duplicate report in an emergency.

    • Utilization of 3-1-1.

      • 3-1-1 is most effective in larger urban areas but may not be a viable solution for rural or suburban agencies.

    • Public Education

      • Public outreach on the proper use of 9-1-1 along with the identifying other resources within individual communities besides 9-1-1.

    • Virtual PSAP Consolidation

      • A concept that combines technology benefits of a physical consolidation without the initial capital cost for infrastructure. Utilizes the same public safety applications on common network and give the PSAPs the ability to load share.


Summary and recommendation2

Summary and Recommendation

Working Group 10 is recommending:

No additional prioritization to the networks at this time.


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