FairPoint to build next-generation 911 system for state of Maine

FairPoint Communications (Nasdaq: FRP) has been awarded a $32 million contract to build its Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) 911 service for the state of Maine, one that will serve over 1.3 million people.

When the network build is complete, Maine will become one of the first states to deploy a next-generation 911 (NG-911) system that's aligned with the National Emergency Number Association standards known as i3. Under the terms of the contract, the telco will provide system and support to serve the state's 26 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), which answer all 911 calls in their local coverage areas.

Unlike traditional 911 systems, an NG-911 platform can be used to deliver a mix of voice, text, video, and enhanced data to each PSAPs. Other benefits include improved call setup time and the speed where voice and data arrive at the PSAP. Emergency response teams will also have access to more detailed information before coming to an emergency site.

For this NG-911 deployment, FairPoint is working with Solacom Technologies and GeoComm. Solacomm will provide call center controllers, workstations and emergency services routing proxy (ESRP) equipment for the system, while GeoComm will provide the Emergency Call Routing Function (ECRF) and Location Validation Function (LVF).   

With the Solacom Guardian intelligent workstations in place, each PSAP workstation will have greater visibility with mapping that will display the location of emergency calls on a monitor. Set to be implemented in all 26 of the state's PSAPs, GeoComm's GeoLynx Server will help PSAPs "more accurately" determine an emergency location to increase response times.

Given the complexity of this project, Mike Reed, FairPoint Maine state president, said in a release that "the new infrastructure and services will be phased in over time to ensure a smooth transition." 

Maine is not the only state to migrate to a NG-911 system, however. In addition to Maine, Hawaiian Telcom (Nasdaq: HCOM) employed Intrado to upgrade its network infrastructure to provide next-generation 911 products and services to public safety answering points (PSAPs) and residents throughout the state last October, for example.

For more:
- see the release

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