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Commonwealth's Counties

Transition to “Next Generation” NG9-1-1 will increase operating costs for counties

As Virginia migrates from analog to digital technology for 9-1-1 service calls, each locally-administered emergency call center will need to complete certain infrastructure upgrades. While the state is paying the capital costs for replacement and upgrades (including connectivity upgrades such as installation of fiber), it is expected that most of the 123 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) programs will need to significantly increase their monthly operation payments. Preliminary estimates of the change in monthly recurring costs show a statewide increase of more than $6 million per year.

To help localities with the increase in expense, the 9-1-1 Services Board will cover the increases in monthly operation payments for the first 24 months after the next generation service becomes operational for each PSAP program.

This Excel spreadsheet from the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) provides the estimated transition costs (capital and operating) for each PSAP based on the Fairfax County contract awarded to AT&T for completing the migration to NG9-1-1. The estimated changes in monthly recurring costs are included in the fourth sheet of the file under the name “MRC Summary.”

VITA staff cautions that these estimates are based on preliminary survey data and several factors may result in modified estimates. For example, actual recurring costs for the Fairfax County contract are proving less than estimated based on the newly installed service by AT&T. Additionally, VITA has identified some errors in population data that will result in changes to the final cost estimates.

It is important to note that each PSAP may choose to enter into the AT&T contract or bid for an alternative vendor. If a PSAP chooses another vendor, the equipment must be compatible with AT&T technology.

For additional information on NG9-1-1 deployment, visit

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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