The Board of County Commissioners approved upgrades for the 911 system at the Monday, July 15 meeting in Yanceyville.
The current analog system is expected to be upgraded to ESINET a web-based system as early as 2020.
Kenneth Everett 911 Director recommended the board approve the upgrades to a more stable and reliable system.
“The current system we’re running on is a 1970 infrastructure not just in this county, but across the state,” he explained. “That system is not keeping up with modern technology and the way it is changing.”
Everett said the State 911 Board came up with a solution for an all web-based system.
“It will be one network bringing in calls for not just this county, but several counties in the state,” he said. “The system will eventually be mandated by the state and they have offered to come to Caswell County and get us up in running by early next year.”
He also said the system will benefit cell phone users because it will track their locations more accurately.
AT&T currently holds the contract and the company has contracts with other providers.
“I know AT&T doesn’t provide good service in Caswell, but they do work with Verizon, CenturyLink and other third-party carriers,” Everett explained. “AT&T will be the main host of the network and provide us services.”
He also said without the upgrades 911 calls take an average of five seconds to get processed.
“Upgrading the system will reduce call transfer time and allow us to respond to calls more quickly,” he said.
There are 110 call centers in the state and currently eight of those centers are live and using the new system.
Everett said he is positive the new system will benefit the county and recommended the board to move forward with the upgrades.
“Our current contract with Century Link is coming up and the state has agreed to move us off the waiting list and have us up and running in the first quarter of the year,” he continued. “The benefit to this is it will cost us less than what we are paying now because it’s coming out of state 911 funds.”
He also told the board that the state will be putting in their own IT department along with AT&T to provide around the clock coverage in case issues arise.
“In a 365-day period the system is only allowed to be down for 10-minutes across the state. Upgrading to a system that is error proof is the best way to move forward,” Everett explained. “This system automatically direct calls to the proper call centers around the state rather it be Roxboro or Alamance or wherever call errors will decrease.”
Commissioners Nate Hall and Steve Oestriecher expressed concerns about the new system, but ultimately voted in favor of the upgrades.