The COG Board was briefed today on findings and recommendations in a draft report on Verizon 9-1-1 service gaps during and following the June 29, 2012 Derecho storm. In July, the Board created a special regional task force of 9-1-1 directors and other officials to focus on the following five areas:
- the cause of Verizon's 9-1-1 failure;
- existing redundancy and backup capabilities;
- vulnerability of newer technologies that required battery or back-up power, including home and business service;
- opportunities for COG localities to influence and strengthen regulatory oversight and remedies at the state and federal levels,
- and Verizon's communication and messaging to the public and local emergency response officials concerning 9-1-1 services.
The report proposes several recommendations, such as encouraging Verizon and other 9-1-1 service providers to perform a comprehensive audit of the entire infrastructure, processes, and procedures that support 9-1-1 service and related systems. It notes that there appear to be "no standards for 9-1-1 service providers to adhere to public safety grade requirements for backup power related to the systems that support 9-1-1 services." The report also includes the status of pending actions by Verizon and federal and state regulatory agencies.
After today's briefing, the Board will transmit the report to member governments and other stakeholders for comment and further input. The report is expected to be completed early next year, once COG has received final input from federal and state regulators and responded to its members' feedback.