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Posted on May 15, 2020 by West Corporation 


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If Texting to 9-1-1 was easy…

The magic of 9-1-1 is its simplicity; just three digits that anyone can easily use to get help in an emergency. Callers don’t know–or need to know–the complexity involved in locating them, determining which agency should receive their call, and routing & delivering that call, all in a matter of seconds.

Intrado was the first emergency communications company to apply the same goal to Text-to-911. The technical challenge of sending an SMS message directly to the digits “9-1-1” and having it route and display at a PSAP was just the beginning. The FCC, Wireless Carriers and Public Safety organizations subsequently implemented a detailed and comprehensive nationwide system to help PSAPs deliver this additional life-saving service in their areas, as they were ready.

Adoption of Text-to-911 has followed a familiar pattern. “Early adopters” were the pioneers, figuring out many things as they went along; the “early majority” and “late majority” came on board as the systems and processes were standardized and proven.  We are currently in what’s called the “late adopter” stage. Great progress has been made but it’s estimated that 20% of the U.S. population still cannot send a text message directly to 9-1-1.

Why is that?

Every situation is unique, but one major reason is, it’s not easy. Far from it.

Navigating the complex and interconnected world of carriers, Text Control Centers, 9-1-1 service providers and public safety is a skill possessed by very few companies with deep knowledge and long experience. And while others’ solutions claim to serve public safety, if you dig a little deeper, it’s in a very limited, outbound-only way. They don’t deliver the “gold standard” of simply getting citizens text-based requests for help directly to 9-1-1, delivering location and the ability to transfer messages as needed. Public safety agencies need to ask questions, understand the differences, and then decide what’s right for them, both short and long term.

Because if it was easy, anybody could do it.

Interested in learning about the Intrado solution—TXT29-1-1® or the Interim TXT29-1-1 solution for non-text-enabled PSAPs? Please visit us here: https://tinyurl.com/ycvaqltv

Intrado’s SVP/GM of Carrier Services recently appeared on The Michael Brown Show to discuss how Intrado is leveraging proven technology and services to provide Text-to-911 to PSAPs who are not yet text-enabled but want to be armed with life-saving technology while meeting FCC requirements. Click to view.


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