In a number of areas, the public switched telephone network (PSTN) has
been configured to recognize an explicitly specified number (usually one
that is short and easily memorized) as a request for emergency services.
These numbers (e.g., 911, 112) are related to an emergency service
context and depend on a broad, regional configuration of service contact
methods and a geographically-constrained approach for service delivery.
These calls are intended to be delivered to special call centers
equipped to manage emergency response. Successful delivery of an
emergency service call within those systems requires an association of
both the physical location of the originating device along with
appropriate call routing to an emergency service center.
Calls placed using Internet technologies do not use the same systems
mentioned above to achieve those same goals, and the common use of
overlay networks and tunnels (either as VPNs or for mobility) makes
meeting these goals even more challenging. There are, however, Internet
technologies available to manage location and to perform call routing.
This working group has described where and how these mechanisms may be
used. The group specified how location data and call routing information
are used to enable communication between a user and a relevant
emergency response center [RFC6443,RFC6444]. Though the term "call
routing" is used, it should be understood that some of the mechanisms
described might be used to enable other types of media streams.
Beyond human initiated emergency call request mechanisms, this group
will develop new methods to enable non-human-initiated requests for
emergency assistance, such as sensor initiated emergency requests.
The working group will also address topics required for the operation of
emergency calling systems, such as: authentication of location,
management of the service URN namespace, augmented information that
could assist emergency call takers or responders.
Explicitly outside the scope of this group is the question of pre-
emption or prioritization of emergency services traffic in the network.
This group is considering emergency services calls which might be made
by any user of the Internet, as opposed to government or military
services that may impose very different authentication and routing
While this group anticipates a close working relationship with groups
such as NENA, EENA, 3GPP, and ETSI , any solution presented must be
general enough to be potentially useful in or across multiple regions or
jurisdictions, and it must be possible to use without requiring a
single, central authority. Further, it must be possible for multiple
delegations within a jurisdiction to be handled independently, things
such as call routing for specific emergency types, media types,
language contents, etc., may be routed differently depending on
established policies and availability.
This working group will address privacy and security concerns within its