E911 Needs Details and Careful Configuration: Post-Webinar Thoughts

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If you missed last week’s webinar on E911 (like me) by 911Enable.com, the PowerPoint slides and a video recording are available for download below.

Top 5 E911 Challenges Facing Lync Deployments – Slides and Video Recording

I won’t recap the whole webinar (you’ll have to go watch it!). But I would like to call out a few quick points I liked.

Considerations for Implementing E911

E911 has its own set of issues. Mostly they derive from the interaction of two situational characteristics:

  1. The location of a person calling 911.
  2. The accuracy of information emergency responders receive from the 911 call.

Both require a high level of detail to be useful. If a caller isn’t sure of or can’t convey where they are, E911 must pinpoint their location via their phone’s Location Information Service (LIS) database. If only basic information was entered in the LIS database when you set up your Lync Server, 911 responders may not receive enough information to reach an injured person in time.

So when you’re setting up a new LIS database, or working on Lync Server one afternoon, take these considerations along. Make sure E911 is working.

Plan for remote workers. Verify that your SIP trunk will send location information properly if an emergency occurs.

Check on state and county requirements. Some states have E911 regulations in place already. Does yours? Check.
What about the size and type of your location? These matter in E911 setup. Don’t forget floors and cellphone tracking.
You may need additional hardware in order to meet E911 legal requirements in your area.

E911 partner or not, make sure your LIS is properly configured. And test it regularly!
I think the biggest E911 challenge is mapping to the specific locations of moving people, such as remote workers or people traveling between offices. Proper LIS configuration for each office site should take care of this. But you’re the one who has to test LIS.

Here, a little help. Fellow Lync blogger Jeff Schertz posted LIS configuration details for Lync Phone Edition last year:
Location Information on Lync Phone Edition: Jeff Schertz’s Blog

Remember: This could be YOUR life on the line. E911 is still 911. It has to work correctly, in the (hopefully rare) circumstance when someone has to punch in those 3 numbers. That could be anyone at your organization…even you. So take care.

Hope you enjoy the webinar!  It’s good for a wake-up call on E911′s essential nature.

What’s your LIS/E911 situation look like?  Were you making a note to check those after the webinar?

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