Frequently Asked Questions

What is Next Generation 9-1-1?

Next Generation 9-1-1, Next Gen 9-1-1 or NG9-1-1 is regulated by the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), with guidance provided by Emergency Services Working Group (ESWG). ESWG is working with the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) to update GIS standards for NG9-1-1 with consideration for Canadian requirements, subject to approval by CRTC. 

Canada first adopted 9-1-1 as a common emergency call number in 1972, with Peterborough County adopting 9-1-1 in 1999.  The 9-1-1 system was originally built around landlines with each phone number tied to a fixed address, which fewer and fewer people have or use today. Currently, close to 90% of 9-1-1 calls are made with cellular or VOIP (Voice over IP) technology, which can occur anywhere, creating challenges in locating callers. 

  • Cellular calls are currently positioned based on signal strength of nearby cellular towers used to triangulate a location, rather than GPS positioning.   
  • Stronger tower signals can artificially place a call nearer to the tower than the caller's actual location.    
  • Landline callers will continue to have their home address recognized, but cellular callers will more accurately be positioned relative to a dispatchable address for emergency responders.  
  • Canadian networks were ready, capable, and tested for digital NG9-1-1 transmissions as of March 1, 2022.  
  • By March 4, 2025, all network components that will not be part of NG9-1-1 will be decommissioned.
  • Between 2025-2027, GIS & common addressing standards are anticipated to be adopted, with geodetic call routing to occur at a similar time.   

How is Peterborough County migrating to NG9-1-1?

Starting in May 2024, Peterborough County will begin a multi-year field-verification program of civic address numbers to ensure the emergency responders throughout the County have access to complete and accurate address data in preparation for the data needs of Next Generation 9-1-1. Address location has typically been inferred by estimating the location of an address along a range of values on each street segment. Next Generation 9-1-1 migration will require more precise address location data to match responders to caller location, with work on this to take place between 2025-2027. 

Peterborough County staff will be on local roads and waterways throughout the summer of 2024 verifying civic addresses as part of the multi-year effort. They will be recognizable by their County vehicle, uniform and ID. 

 The public can assist by: 

  • Keeping address signs clear and visible at the roadway or on structures at all times, in accordance with Township requirements. 
  • Verifying address #, street name, and location using the Peterborough County & First Nations Address Authenticator tool.
  • What3Words - Download the app to your mobile device and provide the unique 3 words to emergency dispatchers to help first responders locate you quickly - when you aren't at an addressed location (e.g., hiking, boating, farm work).