By a vote of four-to-one, the Nebraska Public Service Commission this past week approved entering into a contract with Lumen (formerly CenturyLink) to provide Next Generation 911 (NG911) services.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in this process for their support,” said District 3, Commissioner Tim Schram. “This is a collaborative effort and we are excited to continue the process to bring improved 911 services to all Nebraskans.”
Voting against the contract approval was District 2, Commissioner Crystal Rhoades. Rhoades said, “Lumen has a proven track record of 911 failures nationally and in Nebraska. I don’t believe awarding them the contract is prudent given they are currently under investigation for those failures.”
The contract calls for the establishment of a statewide Emergency Services Internet Protocol Network (ESInet) that will allow callers seeking emergency services to contact 911 not only by making a voice call, but also allowing the utilization of multi-media data such as text messages, pictures and video. As part of the contract, Lumen is partnering with Intrado to provide NG911 Core Services which involves the locating and routing of calls to 911 geospatially. In a geospatial environment a caller’s location is identified using Geographic Information System (GIS) data based on a caller’s longitude & latitude.
The initial five-year contract with Lumen (CenturyLink) is to provide NG911 services at a cost of nearly $815,000 the first year, and $1.8 million each of the remaining four years. At the end of the initial contract period, the Commission will have the option to extend the contract for upto 10-years.
“This is the next big step in our process,” said David Sankey, state 911 director. “Once the contract is signed, we’ll sit down with representatives of Lumen to set priorities and a timeline to begin the process of connecting regions of Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to thestatewide ESInet.”
The PSC currently provides funding assistance to 68 PSAPs. The PSAPs are in the process of forming regions with seven PSAP regions expected to be connected to the statewide ESInet at the completion of the project.
The goal, Sankey said, is to have all PSAP regions connected to the ESInet by the end of 2022.
The contract once finalized by the state, can be found on the Nebraska Department of Administrative Services/State Purchasing webpage @ < https://das.nebraska.gov/materiel/purchasing/6264/6264.