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5/22/2007
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Verizon To Build Modern Emergency 911 System For New York City

The system will let the city's Police and Fire Departments and its Emergency Medical Services division share dedicated communications switches for the first time to process 911 calls.

With the World Trade Center terrorist attack indelibly etched in New Yorkers' minds, Verizon Business announced Tuesday that it has begun building a new Enhanced 911 emergency communications system that will link the city's public safety units together and function in the event of a major disaster.

The contract for the system could be worth as high as $195 million over seven years. The technology will be designed to let the city's Police and Fire Departments and its Emergency Medical Services division share dedicated communications switches for the first time to process 911 calls.

"New York City [wanted] technology to be on an entire network dedicated to 911," said Alex Coleman, group president for Verizon Business' government and education unit, in an interview. "The system is as state of the art as you can get."

Coleman said two giant Nortel DMS-100 switches are at the core of the system, whose first phase is scheduled to be completed early in 2008. Verizon Business also is installing a fiber optic network and dedicated switches and routers for the network. Also featured in the system are Centrex voice services and Ethernet private line data services.

"We will link everything under one umbrella," said Coleman, adding that the network will continue to be rolled out and improved over time. "Once the city migrates to the new system, New Yorkers will know that their call for help will be handled by one of the most sophisticated, resilient, and reliable E-911 systems available today."

The system is designed to assist public safety personnel locate and communicate with 911 callers. Verizon Business, along with its predecessor companies, has been providing 911 services in New York City since 1968. Verizon Business is an operating unit of Verizon Communications.

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