As colleges and universities across the country move to VoIP phone systems and the cloud, how are communications with emergency 911 (E911) services being impacted?
A critical part of any communications solution is how it handles E911 calls. With all the potential emergencies faced by large educational institutions these days – from simple accidents to environmental health and safety hazards, or even outside attacks – the safety of faculty and the students remains paramount.
A cloud communications solution with appropriate design and implementation can strengthen the E911 system of any campus, saving first responders precious time reaching the exact location of an emergency.
While the UNIVERGE BLUE blog has provided articles about the reasons for educational institutions to consider a cloud communications solution and a guide to due diligence when looking at new phone platform options, we haven’t addressed the challenge of how a cloud phone system deals with emergency 911 calls; a key component for every educational campus.
911 Emergency – How It Works
First responders are highly trained professionals, ready to deal with emergency situations. But if they can’t find the emergency, they can’t help. It’s vital for the E911 system to have the correct location information attached to every incoming call.
All 911 calls are routed to one of 6,000+ Public Safety Answering Points (Emergency Call Centers). Every incoming call typically provides the 911 Agent with vital information:
- The caller’s phone number
- The phone’s physical location
- The customer’s name
Good E911 system data will include levels of detail such as floor and office location within a particular building. Traditional systems rely heavily on fixed wires within the infrastructure to supply this data. Mobile phones use GPS tracking and cell tower triangulation to provide the same data for incoming calls to emergency call centers.
Location – the Key to Emergency Services
Cloud-based phone solutions must provide the same level of detailed location data to maintain the E911 system. Much research and development has gone into the systems to achieve this. With a properly deployed cloud solution, 911 calls are immediately routed directly to the provider’s cloud. The system instantly reroutes the incoming call to the correct Public Safety Answering Point, including all the phone’s provisioning information – phone number, detailed location, and customer name.
UNIVERGE BLUE – E911 Ready
Built, implemented and backed by a century of communications technology innovation, UNIVERGE BLUE Business Cloud Services by NEC strengthens the E911 system. Multiple components within the UNIVERGE BLUE unified communications phone system have been designed specifically to meet the special requirements and challenges faced by today’s educational community.
California Association of School Business Officials
The second week in April sees the 2016 Annual Conference and California School Business Expo in Pasadena. The California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) is a premier resource for professional development and business best practices for California’s school business leaders. With over 3,000 members, CASBO represents every facet of school business management and operations. The association offers public school leaders an entire career’s worth of growth opportunities.
DTC will be demonstrating UNIVERGE technologies at the Expo, along with Curriculum Management software solutions. Stop by booth 1116 and say hello. They are sure to have answers to any questions you have about cloud communications solutions designed to meet the needs of educational institutions.