North Central Texas Council of Governments

May 25th, 2015

Posted In: Facility & Operations Planning

nctcog-combinedCLIENT: North Central Texas Council of Governments

SERVICES PROVIDED: Comprehensive NG9-1-1 Services Forensic Analysis

CHALLENGES: In August 2009, the 9-1-1 Program of the 16-county North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG), situated around the DallasFort Worth area, embarked on a long-term strategic initiative to plan, fund and manage Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) services. During the initial phases, Mission Critical Partners, Inc. (MCP) worked closely with NCTCOG to provide thorough due diligence; a conceptual Internet Protocol (IP) NG9-1-1 network design; and the development, distribution and evaluation of i3 Functionality and IP Network Facilities Request for Proposals (RFPs).

During early 2012, the northeast quadrant experienced a series of system outages that were perceived to be inter-related. In particular, one member city was impacted not only with the 9-1-1 system outage, but also by an unrelated issue that affected its internal telecommunications system. Extraneous to NG9-1-1 services, MCP was asked to conduct a forensics analysis of the outages to determine the root cause, determine if they were interrelated, and provide recommendations to mitigate additional system outages.

The third phase of NCTCOG’s services project is focused on improving network/customer premise equipment (CPE) redundancy, supporting state-level NG9-1-1 projects, and implementing NG9-1-1 functionality to serve NCTCOG’s jurisdiction.

SOLUTIONS: MCP’s forensic analysis identified the root cause of the problem―a vendor design flaw relating to system restoral upon re-establishment of commercial power. MCP’s report included interim procedures to mitigate the effect of outages until such time as the vendor provides a commercially available software solution. Recommendations included changes to the agreement between NCTCOG 9-1-1 and the member city to improve communication of the city’s notification of activities that may affect 9-1-1 service.

To achieve the goals identified in phase three of the NG9-1-1 services, MCP is working with the Council to:

  • Develop and manage a multi-year plan encompassing all 9-1-1 Program departments
  • Manage the implementation of i3 features and functions of NG9-1-1
  • Establish and manage a regional consortium to implement the National Emergency Number Association’s (NENA’s) next generation technology vision
  • Identify opportunities to share costs and resources related to technical network projects

KEY RESULTS: Since the inception of the NG9-1-1 services project, MCP managed the design and implementation of the local IP network, including all related procurement efforts; completed the initial regional consortium by-laws and management documents; and developed the multi-year 9-1-1 Program Master Plan to guide long-term efforts.

After thorough research and analysis of the outages, an after-action report was prepared that identified the potential root cause, and included suggestions and recommendations to mitigate not only the system outages themselves, but also to improve the agreement governing the responsibilities of the parties involved.

The MCP team continues to work closely with NCTCOG to help them meet additional project objectives in the transition to NG9-1-1, and is ready to assist with issues affecting mission critical operations as they arise.

Christy Williams, ENP
9-1-1 Program Manager

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