First responders need robust 911 communication infrastructure that can handle high-pressure situations at a high volume or in case of disaster.
An all-encompassing first response starts the moment an emergency call is received. In these scenarios time is critical, so communication platforms need to be dependable and resilient. Public safety agencies like the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Service (Cal OES) are constantly aiming to improve the communication infrastructure in their 911 call centers. Down time — or any sort of compromised connectivity — is not an option. Helping local governments stay up to date with the latest and best available technology allows Cal OES to better support dispatchers, emergency responders, and ultimately save lives.
Most 911 systems were originally built using analog rather than digital technologies so as technology evolves so too must 911 communication infrastructure. Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) across the country need to be upgraded to a digital or IP-based 911 system, commonly referred to as Next Generation 911 (NG911). Resilient connectivity is a key component to this improved platform.
“In California, the current 911 system has a high failure rate. Every month somewhere in California for 10 - 20,000 minutes, 911 is not available. That’s simply unacceptable in today’s environment,” said Budge Currier, 911 Communications Branch Manager, Cal OES
Many factors were considered in Cal OES’ effort to modernize and strengthen an outdated 911 system. When examining the infrastructure of an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) or a PSAP, Cal OES needed a solution that:
- Increased the system’s resilience to withstand natural and human caused disasters — recognizing that single fixed line carrier connections have limited performance and reliability
- Ensured that emergency calls are quickly and accurately delivered in three seconds or less
- Reduced 911 system outages and downtime — eliminating the threat to critical operations of EOCs if the hard-wired connection were ever compromised
- Easily integrated with existing IT infrastructure
Designing NG911 platforms with these considerations is necessary to mitigate the risk of downtime or compromised connectivity. That’s why Cal OES chose Dejero to help accelerate their transition to Next Generation 911.
To accomplish their goal of equipping PSAPs with reliable connectivity, over 200 Dejero GateWay M6E6F network aggregation devices were deployed on sites across California in 2021. These devices easily integrate with existing facility IT infrastructure and connect with the Dejero GateWay Cloud Service to route data to its destination, delivering resilient back-up connectivity and providing Cal OES with the peace of mind that they will never go offline
“The Dejero solution features diverse cellular connectivity from multiple providers, providing the additional reliability that’s needed in the Next Generation 911 environment,” said Budge Currier, 911 Communications, Branch Manager, Cal OES
The solution features Dejero Smart Blending Technology, which combines diverse connectivity paths, including cellular, satellite, and broadband to create a virtual ‘network of networks.’ By intelligently managing all these connections in real-time, Dejero provides resilient, uninterrupted connectivity that’s essential for the critical communications of the Cal OES PSAPs. Cal OES no longer needs to rely on a single LTE cellular connection or a "failover" solution which switches to a new connection when there is a problem. The session persistence provided by the Dejero solution is key since any interruption or momentary degradation in service can have serious negative consequences.
The final component to the solution is the Dejero Connectivity Service. This provides Cal OES with the convenience of centralized management of cellular service providers and data plans — greatly simplifying provisioning, billing, management and support. In addition to access to public networks, Dejero provides access to FirstNet, a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responder and public safety agencies, and a key requirement for Cal OES.
By implementing Dejero technology into their PSAPs, Cal OES was able to accelerate the transition to their Next Generation 911 system. With resilient connectivity for their critical communications established, Cal OES has peace of mind that PSAP operations will continue to operate without interruption, even if primary and secondary connectivity paths are disrupted.
Trusting Dejero to ensure continuity of their operations, Cal OES solidified their status as a leader and technological innovator in the public safety space by embracing cloud technology in their NG911 roll out. Given the success of this implementation, the Dejero solution is now included in the Emergency Services IP Network reference design for LTE backhaul.
“Surveillance cameras can sometimes freeze, glitch, or be otherwise temperamental — requiring a reboot,” Bouvattier said. “With our existing setup, we had to send staff out to reset and reboot cameras regularly. This needed to change. On paper, the cameras we were using had power requirements of 30 W. However, we found that they sometimes operated erratically unless at least 60 W of power was available. A standard PoE switch would not be enough. We needed a PoE switch that supported IEEE 802.3bt.”
The Perle IDS-710HP-XT was the solution. Able to provide up to a total of 450 W of power across its eight ports to connected devices, it was also small enough to fit into discreet enclosures that blend in with the surrounding architecture. And, the PD power reset feature provides an easy way for the surveillance cameras to be remotely rebooted at any time.
With operating temperatures of minus 40° to 158°F, extensive management features, secure authentication methods, and network connectivity through two SFP slots supporting 1G/2.5G fiber or 10/100/1000 copper, the IDS-710HP PoE Switch will fit into any environment where extensive security and network interoperability are required.
“The IDS-710HP-XT matched all our requirements, dimensional and technical,” Bouvattier said. “This was the missing piece to create a flexible solution that could be used in all urban security camera settings.”