Tony Parrott explains how Solacom helped Maricopa Region 911 bring lightning-fast NG9-1-1 call routing and delivery to more than four million people in Arizona.
As home to more than half the population of Arizona, including the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County is the fourth-most populous county in the country. That means the team at Maricopa Region 911 has one of the most challenging mandates in the country. It also means everyone involved in upgrading the Maricopa Region 911 network routers knew that a network interruption or failure during the transition could have catastrophic results.
Maricopa Region 911 has managed its own private 9-1-1 network since 2003 when the state 9-1-1 office approved its request to manage network maintenance and selective routing for wireless 9-1-1 calls. The network carries high call volumes. As of 2018, the Maricopa Region 911 network was delivering nearly 2.5 million wireless 9-1-1 calls per year to more than 1,100 call takers and dispatchers at 25 public safety answering points (PSAPs).
While the Maricopa Region 911 team started creating the IP backbone for its Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) in 2010, funding to replace the end-of-life analog selective router platform was only secured in 2016.
The Upgrade Strategy Was Crucial to Success
Today, Maricopa Region 911 has a state-of-art, geo-diverse NG9-1-1 network with our i3-ready selective routers at the heart of the network infrastructure. The team’s well-thought-out, carefully executed upgrade strategy was key to the smooth transition.
To ensure call flows were not interrupted during the network upgrade, the Maricopa Region 911 team took advantage of its redundant network centers in metropolitan Phoenix and Mesa. They brought the new, IP-based selective routers online one trunk line at a time, first at one center, then at the other. No major issues were encountered and within a few days, both centers were up and running at full speed.
Calls Are Delivered at Millisecond Speeds
Since the cutover to the Solacom routers in early December 2018, 9-1-1 calls in Maricopa County have been delivered to the county’s 25 PSAPs in milliseconds. Geospatial call routing based on the caller’s location helps ensure calls are routed to the appropriate PSAP with no need for call transfers.
When the technical team needs to troubleshoot 9-1-1 calls, they have access to real-time information for the entire call life cycle. Technicians have also taken advantage of edge routing that automatically reroutes calls onto alternate pathways if there’s an issue on the network or network congestion.
Services Ensure Worry-Free Operation
To help relieve some of the burden on technicians, Maricopa Region 911 also opted to take advantage of our Business Continuity Services. These managed services include active remote monitoring, anti-virus protection, patch management, and disaster recovery services that ensure the system is operating at peak performance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
We also provided two weeks of customized training to ensure Maricopa Region 911 technicians were up-to-speed on the new network capabilities.
We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Maricopa Region 911 team on their journey to NG9-1-1. As the team continues to push forward with NG9-1-1 initiatives, we’ll share updates about how this forward-looking team carefully and systematically brings more IP components into their system.
In the meantime, read our case study to hear firsthand what Liz Graeber, the 9-1-1 administrator for Maricopa Region, has to say about her team’s experience with Solacom.