On September 15, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed legislation that includes a $10 billion grant program for deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1. This landmark legislation promotes many key principles championed by APCO and its partners in the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition. Importantly, this legislation includes provisions that ensure complete end-to-end NG9-1-1 deployment, interoperability, cybersecurity and reliability. It also preserves state and local control of NG9-1-1 and makes funding available for training. States would have to adopt sustainable funding mechanisms to ensure continued operations, maintenance and upgrades after the federal grant program concludes. The legislation is the product of collaborative discussions with other key stakeholders and has widespread support throughout the public safety community. Our appreciation extends in particular to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle, and House NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Anna Eshoo. See the related Coalition press release here.
The House Committee bill next advances to the House Budget Committee and then on to the full House of Representatives as part of a final reconciliation bill package. The Senate will be taking on similar efforts, and in this regard, also on September 15, Senate NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus Co-Chair Amy Klobuchar and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto introduced an identical NG9-1-1 bill.
The actions thus far in the House and Senate are very important and encouraging steps. But more work remains. APCO will continue its advocacy efforts along with its public safety partners to ensure that public safety communications professionals receive the resources they need to fully upgrade to NG9‑1‑1.