NG911, or Next Generation 911, is an advanced emergency communications system that allows citizens to contact emergency services using a range of technologies, including text messages, videos, and photos. Adopting NG911 requires significant investment in infrastructure, technology, and training, which can be a challenge for many agencies. However, there are several funding options available to help agencies adopt NG911.

State Grants

Many states offer grants to local governments and public safety agencies to help them adopt NG911. These grants can cover a range of expenses, including infrastructure upgrades, training, and equipment purchases.

Federal Grants

The federal government also offers grants to support NG911 adoption. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Cybersecurity & infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are among the agencies that provide funding for NG911 projects.

  1. The National 911 Program: The National 911 Program, which is managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), provides grants to support the implementation and maintenance of NG911 systems. These grants are available to state, local, and tribal governments, as well as non-profit organizations and educational institutions.
  2. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): The NTIA is a federal agency that provides grants and funding opportunities to support the development and deployment of broadband infrastructure, including NG911 systems. The NTIA’s Broadband Infrastructure Program provides grants to support the deployment of broadband networks in unserved and underserved areas, which can include NG911 systems.
  3. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The DHS provides grants to support emergency communications systems and technologies, including NG911. The DHS’s grant programs, such as the Homeland Security Grant Program and the Emergency Management Performance Grant Program, provide funding for a range of emergency preparedness and response activities, including the adoption and upgrading of NG911 systems.
  4. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC is a federal agency that oversees and regulates telecommunications services in the United States. The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund provides funding to support the deployment of broadband services and devices for educational institutions and libraries, which can include NG911 systems.
  5. The Department of Commerce: The Department of Commerce provides funding opportunities through various grant programs, including the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These grant programs can support the development and deployment of NG911 systems and related technologies.

Bond Issues

Some agencies may be able to fund NG911 projects through bond issues, which allow them to borrow money at a low interest rate and pay it back over a longer period of time. Bond issues require approval from local voters and may be subject to certain restrictions. However, many agencies have had worked to fund large projects via this method:

Cost-Sharing Agreements

Cost-sharing agreements in public safety are agreements between two or more agencies or organizations to share the costs of a particular project or service. For example, a county government and a local school district might agree to share the cost of upgrading emergency communications infrastructure in their community. There are several benefits to cost-sharing agreements in public safety:

  • Increased funding: By pooling resources and sharing costs, agencies can increase the amount of funding available for important public safety initiatives. This can be especially important for smaller agencies or those with limited budgets.
  • Shared responsibility: Cost-sharing agreements help distribute the responsibility for funding and implementing public safety projects among multiple agencies or organizations. This can increase buy-in and support for the project, as well as improve overall collaboration and coordination.
  • Increased efficiency: Cost-sharing agreements can also help agencies avoid duplicating efforts and resources. By working together, agencies can develop more efficient and effective solutions to common public safety challenges.
  • Improved interoperability: Cost-sharing agreements can be especially effective for improving interoperability between different agencies and jurisdictions. By pooling resources and sharing costs, agencies can adopt compatible technologies and standards that improve coordination and communication during emergency situations.

Cost-sharing agreements in public safety can take many forms. For example, agencies may agree to share the costs of purchasing new equipment, developing a shared communications infrastructure, or providing training and education to staff. In some cases, cost-sharing agreements may be formalized through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) or other legal agreement.

In summary, there are several funding options available to agencies looking to adopt NG911, including state and federal grants, bond issues, and cost-sharing agreements. Agencies should explore all available options and develop a comprehensive funding strategy to support their NG911 initiatives.