Switching to SIP?

Essential Questions To Ask Any Potential SIP Provider Regarding E911

Navigating E911 and NG911 services can be a challenge, whether it’s understanding the changes in service of your current provider or switching to a new provider that may be better able to serve your needs. With such a wide variety of options and a wide range of associated costs, it can be difficult to determine which choice is the right one. When traversing the complicated E911 landscape, there are a few important questions that you can ask to assist in making the best choice for your organization.

Will my 911 calls be routed directly to the Washington State NG911 network?

Some providers will route your calls directly to the state’s NG911 network, but some are routing 911 calls to a third party for processing before being routed to the state’s NG911 infrastructure, thereby increasing the time it takes for the caller to be connected to the correct 911 dispatcher. Make sure you are given all of the details of how your calls will be routed and by whom.

What information is being sent along with the call to the 911 dispatcher?

It’s important that the Calling Line ID (CLID or more simply the telephone number from which the call originates) is transmitted to the NG911 network so that the call can be directed to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). If the Billing Telephone Number (BTN) is transmitted along with the call without the CLID, the call will be routed to the PSAP associated with the billing address and not the PSAP associated with the number from which the call is originating, which may or may not be the same. In addition, the only location information that will be transmitted to the 911 dispatcher is the address associated with the BTN which is usually the main billing address of your organization.

What is the associated cost with ensuring that the Calling Line ID is transmitted along with the call to the state’s NG911 network?

If your call is routed directly to the Washington State NG911 network and includes both the Billing Telephone Number and the Calling Line ID, you need only continue to update the states PS/ALI database to ensure that the 911 dispatcher will receive the correct location information associated with the call. If however, your call is routed to a third party for processing before being routed to the states NG911 network, then it likely will be necessary for you to register all of your DID lines (or Calling Line ID’s) with that third party which can be very costly.

How much will it cost to register all of my DID lines and how will I make changes to the location information when necessary?

When evaluating the total cost of any service, it’s important to understand the additional cost involved in registering your DID lines as well as any ongoing costs associated with updating location information. Equally important is the ease of use of the interface that will provided for making changes to the location data. If the process of updating location information is complicated and time consuming, work hours spent updating may be another consideration affecting total cost.

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