Minnesota is working with consulting and managed services firm Mission Critical Partners (MCP) as part of the state’s migration to Next Generation 911 (NG911) service.
The modernization and migration efforts are led by the Minnesota Department of Information Technology Services and the Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks (ECN) division.
Back in 2011, the state began its transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911) service by implementing a statewide emergency services Internet Protocol network (ESInet). As part of the state’s new contract with MCP, the company will provide guidance over the next year regarding the most effective and efficient path toward implementing a modern, innovative NG911 system from technical, operational, and financial perspectives.
MCP said in a press release that its subject-matter experts will assess the following:
- How best to transition from the current 911 system to the NG911 system.
- Current and future costs for transitioning to a fully functioning NG911 system.
- How best to recover those costs while ensuring that the cost-recovery model is equitable for all NG911 system users and aligns with revenue generated by the statewide 911 service fee.
- Governance related to the NG911 transition.
“This project will support the Department of Public Safety – ECN Division as it transitions to the NG911 system. This major transformation impacts our first responders’ communication capabilities across Minnesota, not only from a strategic planning standpoint but also from a budgetary perspective,” said Dana Wahlberg, director of the Department of Public Safety – ECN Division.
The broader 911 migration process will individually impact each of the state’s emergency communications centers (ECCs) when it comes to cybersecurity, geographic information systems (GIS), and backup dispatch capabilities. MCP said the goal is to ensure that each ECC possesses the infrastructure required for the NG911 migration.
Finally, as part of the contract MDP will also assess the feasibility of new, modern communication technologies for the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER) system. MCP explained that ARMER is the statewide Project 25 (P25)-compliant, 800 megahertz (MHz), trunked radio system that was implemented in 2004. Working alongside the Department of Transportation, MCP said it will develop a statewide strategy to achieve Minnesota’s statewide communication interoperability plan goals while also assessing the pros and cons of new technology regarding cost savings, improved capabilities, and security. MCP will make implementation recommendations based on a cost-benefit analysis.