Congress Decimates 911’s Digital Upgrade

Public safety officials fear the nation's 911 centers will continue to languish in the analog era , after Democrats slashed proposed funding for a digital makeover in their social spending bill. From a report: The potentially life-saving ability for people to send texts, pictures or videos to 911 centers, and for centers to seamlessly share data with each other, remains out of reach for many of the country's 6,000 centers. The House Energy & Commerce Committee advanced a proposal that would have spent $10 billion on next-generation 911 centers in September, but that funding was reduced to $470 million for deployment in the final House version of the Build Back Better Act. A cost report to Congress on next-generation 911 from 2018 estimated it would take about $12 billion to implement the networks nationwide, though advocates say $15 billion might be needed. "To say I'm disappointed is to put it mildly," Brian Fontes, CEO of NENA: The 911 Association, told Axios. "It's extraordinarily unfortunate." Next-generation 911 would allow centers to accept multimedia from those in need and let centers share data among themselves easily to ensure the best response.

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