CenturyLink today announced the completion of a project with the State of Washington 911 office that replaced its analog, voice-grade 911 system with a high-bandwidth Emergency Services IP Network (ESINet), enabling infrastructure for future adoption of emergency communication services such as real-time text, video, voice and data messages from various types of devices.
“Washington is one of the first states to deploy ESINet because its leaders recognized the need to prepare for increased 911 message volume brought on by the proliferation of mobile devices,” said Rob Roache, northwest region vice president of sales, CenturyLink. “CenturyLink is proud to supply the technology and expertise to manage an advanced 911 network that will connect residents in need of help with the emergency services they require today and well into the future.”
The Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in all of Washington’s 39 counties are now connected to the ESINet and are already experiencing improved speeds in connecting 911 calls. The ESINet, designed and managed by CenturyLink, fully complies with national standards established by the National Emergency Number Association,which launched its Next Generation 911 initiative in 2000 to improve public emergency communications services in a wireless and mobile society.
“The ESINet will still allow Washington residents to call 911 from a landline or cellular phone and, in the future, will provide a new statewide system for residents to send texts, photos or videos to the 911 center,” said Robert Ezelle, director of Washington State Emergency Management. “When the new messaging capabilities are enabled statewide, which could take several years, they will significantly enhance the public’s ability to request emergency services across the state.”
CenturyLink, which provides IT consulting and managed services for some of the world’s largest and most complex government agencies and companies, maintains Washington’s ESINet as a managed network and ensures proper routing, transport, interoperability and security of network traffic.