The current Washington State Enhanced 911 system (E911) telephone network technology was designed in the 1960’s and remains nearly unchanged. The current technology consists of point-to-point analogy technologies, in-band signaling and low-speed data transmissions that are both costly and outdated. Although extremely reliable, the current network cannot keep up with new technology and therefore, is unable to provide comparable service for emerging communication devices such as Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) phones and is not capable of processing widely used data such as text messaging, pictures, videos or telematics from vehicles.
The transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911) will not occur overnight and will need to progress in phases. Proceeding in phases will ensure that the new network and database are reliable and more robust than the current system. All counties must transition to Phase 2 before the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) moves to the final phase deemed Phase 3 (full digital to digital voice and data from start to finish).
Lincoln County is currently working on cleaning up the GIS data that is required for NG911 so that it meets the strict requirements needed to obtain the high level of service that will be provided.