Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA)
The January 29, 2016 TFOPA Final Report reflects the thinking of some of the best minds in public safety on the topic of regionalization.
On August 13, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Second Report and Order (Second R&O) and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in Public Safety Dockets 11-153 and 10-255 . The Second R&O, among other things, directed the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to convene a task force to study ways to optimize PSAP architecture for NG911.
Ways to Achieve Optimization
The TFOPA Report outlined a variety of conceptual approaches and recommended that the approach taken should be whatever optimizes, or makes the best sense, for NG911 in a particular operational, financial/funding, and political environment.
Underscoring the point that there are many ways to optimize NG911 architecture, the TFOPA Report stated, “NG9-1-1 architecture can be customized to support almost any configuration of PSAP operations.” PSAP operations and operational decisions will remain local even when NG911 system infrastructure and services serve multiple PSAPs within a region.
The report focused on the following areas of PSAP NG911 optimization:
Emergency Services IP transport network (ESInet)
Access and NG9-1-1 Core Services (NGCS)
PSAP Terminating Equipment/Call-taking Support subsystems (Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), Management Information Systems (MIS), Dispatching Equipment, etc.
The delivery of 911 services could be optimized by sharing systems, by joint purchasing, by sharing infrastructure, by sharing staff. A regional or statewide approach maximizes the potential to achieve these optimizations.