A new coalition of 911 organizations today called for additional funding and support to ensure that all public-safety answering points (PSAPs) transition to IP-based next-generation 911 (NG911) technology by the end of 2020, when all legacy 911 systems could be retired.

Known as the NG911 NOW Coalition, the group—led by the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA), the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA)—announced its 2020 NG911 goal today during a press event on Capitol Hill.

“It is my pleasure to announce the formation of the Next-Generation 911 Now Coalition,” NASNA President Harriet Miller-Brown said during the event, which was broadcast online via Periscope. “The NG911 NOW Coalition’s mission is simple: To promote an accelerated implementation of next-generation 911 throughout the nation. The NG911 NOW Coalition will work together to take specific actions to promote NG911 deployment.”

Today marked the beginning of the NG911 NOW Coalition’s campaign in pursuit of its stated goal: “by the end of the year 2020, all 911 systems and call centers in all 56 states and territories will have sufficiently funded, standards-based, end-to-end IP-based 911 capabilities, and have retired legacy 911 systems, without any degradation in service,” according to a press release.

Miller-Brown described the 2020 deployment goal as “aggressive but achievable.”

Laurie Flaherty, coordinator of the National 911 Program in the U.S. Department of Transportation, said it is important that PSAPs transition to NG911 and retire legacy 911 systems, which she described as “obsolete” and “old, 20th-century technology.” Although voice-centric 911 systems have served the nation well for decades, the legacy 911 technology is not compatible with the multimedia personal-communications devices used by the public today.

“We need to transition from 911 to next-generation 911,” Flaherty said during the event. “As a nation, we cannot allow 911 to be left behind.”

Flaherty is a member of the FCC’s Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA), which last week released a report that outlines a path for PSAPs to follow during the transition to NG911 and identified several potential challenges. NENA CEO Brian Fontes also serves on the same task force and was TFOPA’s most outspoken advocate for establishing a target date for completing the transition to NG911.

“If we were to move to set a date to transition to next-generation 911, it can rally our leaders at the local, county, state and federal government level to participate in what does need to be done to make this a reality,” Fontes said during today’s coalition event.

“What happens if we don’t? We will end up as a nation of Swiss cheese—those communities with next-generation 911 service and those communities without.”