Fast Facts - Massachusetts 9-1-1 program

In 1990 Massachusetts enacted legislation providing for Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) on a statewide basis. This legislation also created the Statewide Emergency Telecommunications Board (SETB) as the agency charged with administrating the implementation of E9-1-1.

9-1-1 in Massachusetts is funded through a surcharge on all home and wireless telephones bills.

The E9-1-1 system automatically displays the address and telephone number of the emergency caller at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)

Every person who answers a 9-1-1 call in MA must attend a two day training course provided by the SETB.

There are 278 PSAPs in Massachusetts

PSAPs are operated by the individual municipalities and State Police

In 1996 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an order requiring implementation of E9-1-1 capabilities for wireless phone carriers.

There are two phases of the FCC's wireless E9-1-1 order

  • Phase I requires all wireless carriers to provide an emergency dispatcher with the telephone number of the caller and the location of the closest cell site or base station transmitting the call. This Phase was completed in MA in April 2003.
  • Phase II requires wireless carriers to provide a more precise location to the dispatcher, including latitude and longitude of the caller (within 50-300 meters). This Phase was completed in MA in February 2006.

There are 3 "wireless" PSAPs in Massachusetts - State Police Framingham, State Police Middleboro and State Police Northampton. All wireless 9-1-1 calls that originate in MA will be routed to one of these PSAPs.

An estimated 200 million calls are made to 9-1-1 in the U.S. each year. According to the FCC, one-third are wireless calls.

In Massachusetts there are 1.8 million wireless 9-1-1 calls and 1.5 million wire line calls made per year.

Voice over Internet Protocol ( ), a technology that allows voice quality calls to be made over broadband internet connections, is regulated at the federal level and is not subject to Massachusetts E9-1-1 requirements.