Smart Public Safety Networks – Emergency Services IP Networks (ESInets) for Converged Communications
While NG9-1-1 is the initiative, the real intelligence and power comes from the network (ESInet), an Internet Protocol (IP) network to be specific, which processes everything as data. Think along the lines of your cell phone plan, everything is a data package, as nowadays even voice is sent over a network as data. The difference in how we use our cell phones and how 9-1-1 processes our calls, though, is that the networks that process our cellular traffic are broadband (IP) capable, but the ones processing 9-1-1 calls are not. NG9-1-1 changes that, as it puts broadband networks, capabilities we all require in our daily lives, in place for public safety. The capabilities we have in the palms of our hands will be available to those we rely upon to serve and protect.
Our ability to communicate and share information, pictures, real-time-text, video calls - even parse social media - will be available to the first responder community. It is all made possible by this ESInet. Mobile devices are highly intelligent. All technology today is IP-ready (meaning it will plug into a software defined network, an IP network to the layperson), and the level of sophistication associated with the products everyone relies upon every day give the public a highly advanced set of tools that can (and will) supply our men and women in law enforcement information that will directly impact the safety and security of our streets.
The only way this can happen is through a network that is intelligent, secure, sophisticated, resilient and capable of supporting millions of “hits” per day. This network sounds complicated and, just like software and applications on our phones, it can be to the novice. However, to companies who specialize in this area, it really is not that complicated when you break it down in pieces. These networks really are going to be the lifeblood to our communities. We are moving to the era of Smart and Connected Cities, but to reach this plateau the first thing that is mandatory is to have a Safe City. That’s what NG9-1-1 will do, and if deployed with an open mind and looking to the future, what starts as an ESInet can become a city’s backbone for connecting all citizen services, agencies and devices. If this network supports intelligent devices, why not use it to turn the tables on criminals and use technology to protect and serve before a crime is committed? Could a situation like what happened in Boston or most recently New York City have a significantly different outcome if an NG9-1-1 Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) were used to its full potential?
Not only do I believe the answer is “Yes”, but it has been done already in other cities across the globe (London, Madrid, Tel Aviv for example), and there is nothing preventing any city from becoming a Safe, Smart, Connected city other than having a place to start. That’s why NG9-1-1 is so important, as it provides a blueprint that allows agencies to achieve so much more than they have today, and it “connects the dots” for so many things the public assumes already exist.
In my next blog I’ll take you through a hypothetical scenario using NG9-1-1 to combat terrorism.