Public-safety answering point (PSAPs) throughout Kansas are expected to leverage geospatial routing of 911 calls over AT&T’s Emergency Services IP network (ESInet) by the end of the year or early in 2018, according to the chairman of the state’s 911 coordinating council.

Dick Heitschmidt, chairman of the Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council and Hutchinson chief of police, said the selection of AT&T several weeks ago as the vendor to build a statewide ESInet was “fairly easy,” because AT&T has been developing a statewide 911 solution during the past two years.

“They built out our statewide solution, and it makes sense that they would built out the ESInet for us,” Heitschmidt said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We’re already partners with them, so might as well continue to partner with them and go to the next step with them.

“I think the fact that we already have a statewide solution built out by AT&T is going to make it much less complicated to just hook into their ESInet.”

Kansas has about 100 PSAPs, most of which already have committed to being part of the statewide solution—a direction that was established in 2014 in an effort to take advantage of “economies of scale,” Heitschmidt said.

“We did not want own the system; we did not want to maintain the system,” he said. “We wanted to find a partner to give us off-the-shelf technology at the best value for the bucks that we had.

“We think that we’re able to do it this way considerably cheaper than [having individual PSAPs in the state] trying to go out and do their own thing. And it’s totally voluntary—the PSAPs don’t have to get on it. But so far, we have 56 on it right now, with another almost 30 scheduled to come on, and we still have a few that haven’t made up their minds yet about what they’re going to do.”

Heitschmidt said he is hopeful that all Kansas PSAPs will be on the statewide system by the middle of 2018.

AT&T is expected to complete the ESInet deployment late this year or early next year, Heitschmidt said. Meanwhile, the state is conducting final checks of its geographic information system (GIS) database, which will allow PSAPs to conduct geospatial routing of 911 calls across the ESInet when it is finished, he said.

“I’m confident that, at the end of the year or the first part of 2018—when we get hooked up to the ESInet—we’re going to be using full-blown geospatial routing as our call routing,” Heitschmidt said.