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Pennsylvania Counties Using Fiber Optics to Improve 911 Capabilities

Monday, May 20, 2019   (0 Comments)
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(UC) – For years, fiber-optic cables have been the gold standard in speed and reliability for telecommunication networks. Not only do they provide much faster internet data speeds for homes and businesses, they allow for larger and more complex data sets to be transferred at no loss to speed or quality.

A group of Pennsylvania counties is taking full advantage of this technology to improve the speed and reliability of their emergency response services. The Southern Alleghenies 911 Cooperative, a group of of seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, unveiled its plans to build a fiber-optic network connecting the counties’ 911 dispatch centers allowing dispatchers to quickly and easily transfer misdirected calls and share critical data across county lines.

The $2.5 million project has already been entirely funded through a small telephone bill surcharge implemented across the state four years ago. The funds collected and provided by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Association were directly intended for improving 911 operations.

“The fiber project being unveiled today will not only strengthen our emergency service information systems, but (also) launch us into the future,” Joel Landis, director of the Somerset County Department of Emergency Services, told the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat.  “This project, without a doubt, will enhance our current capabilities, provide cost savings and solidify the way the counties can collaborate to best provide emergency services.”