As telecommunications technology has advanced, citizens assume that their communication devices are capable of soliciting emergency assistance. According to Marc Andreessen, developments in information technology are finding their way first to consumers and only later making their way into other arenas (The Economist, 2011). Text, video and calls from voice over IP (VOIP) phones are increasingly popular; however, the ability to procure 911 help via these modes has not been widely implemented. As the technology of 911 becomes more complicated and more expensive, federal and state agencies have struggled to find ways to enable public safety capability to meet consumer assumptions. These agencies have begun to recognise and act upon the need for centralised planning.
Keywords: next generation 911, NG911, voice over IP, VOIP emergency calls, non–voice access technology, federal and state coordination, text messaging, public safety broadband networks, continuity, IP–enabled network infrastructure, risk management, 999, public policy, consumer assumptions, centralised planning