4th Standards Development Organizations (SDO) Emergency Services Workshop


Summoning police, fire department, ambulance or other emergency services in case of emergency is one of the fundamental and most-valued functions of the telephone. As telephone functionality moves from circuit-switched telephony to Internet telephony, its users rightfully expect that this core functionality will continue to work at least as well as is has for the older technology. New devices and services are being made available which could be used to make a request for help which are not traditional telephones, and users are increasingly expecting them to be used to place emergency calls. However, many of the technical advantages of Internet multimedia require re-thinking of the traditional emergency calling architecture. This challenge also offers an opportunity to improve the operation of emergency calling technology, while potentially lowering its cost and complexity.

Existing emergency services rely exclusively on voice and conventional text telephony (known as TTY in the United States) media streams. However, more choices of media offer additional ways to communicate and evaluate the situation as well as to assist callers and call takers to handle emergency calls. For example, instant messaging, wideband speech codecs and video could improve the ability to communicate and evaluate the situation and to provide appropriate instruction prior to arrival of emergency crews. Future emergency services will allow the creation of sessions of any media type, negotiated between the caller and PSAP using existing SIP protocol mechanisms.


Today many standardization activities take place with regard to various parts of the emergency service architecture. They are, however, not as coordinated as they could be. There is the danger that uncoordinated activities lead to solutions that either do not work in some circumstances or to solutions that lead to duplicatework due to lack of knowledge of work done by other SDOs.

Three SDO emergency services workshops have been held already and a number of other smaller coordination activities took place. These  workshops took place in the US (New York,  Washington DC, and Brussels).

Scope & Agenda

This workshop is restricted in scope to citizen-to-authority communication and authority-to-citizen (early warning) emergency services. 

The high-level agenda is the following:

Day 1:
Day 2:

Day 3:

A more detailed but work-in-progress agenda can be found here:

Pictures can be found here:

The meeting minutes can be found here:


The high-level goals of the SDO emergency services coordination workshops are:

This is an information sharing event. New insights and new contacts from other SDOs will help the participants to influence work in their organization.

The 4th emergency services workshop goals are more specific.

As the various SDO architectures and resultant proposals are becoming mature, operational entities are evaluating the administration of the next generation emergency services networks. One area this workshop
will focus is on the operational aspect of building/maintaining these new architectures. We will also examine various use cases from an architectural viewpoint, looking for areas that have not been addressed by the current work in the various SDOs. Included will be a status update of the work within the SDOs represented, such that any inter-SDO dependencies that may be in jeopardy can be identified.

Meeting Date

22, 23, and 24 April 2008

(8:30am-6:00pm, every day)

Hotels and Meeting Location

The meeting will take place at the following location:

725 W Peachtree St
30308 Atlanta

The meeting is hosted by AT&T.

Peachtree warning: Peachtree St and W Peachtree St are NOT the same street. They run parallel, a block or two apart. Over 50 streets in Atlanta have “Peachtree” in their name. Make sure the street name matches precisely.

There are 4 hotels nearby, within easy walking distance. Many other hotels are available that have easy MARTA access, such as Wyndam Hotel Midtown Atlanta, Four Seasons Atlanta, Marriot Atlanta Downtown, and others. I suggest getting a hotel on the North-South MARTA line, and not north of Lindbergh station. At Peachtree Center Station (2 stations south of North Avenue) are the Hilton Atlanta and Marriot Marquis Atlanta.

1. HOTEL INDIGO ATLANTA MIDTOWN  [This is closest; smallish, but newly renovated rooms; AT&T rate $116]
683 PEACHTREE ST., ATLANTA, GA 30308    404-874-9200

590 W. PEACHTREE ST. N.W., ATLANTA, GA 30308   404-881-6000

3. THE GEORGIAN TERRACE [This is 2nd closest, next door to Hotel Indigo, and is popular because most rooms are large with Southern charm. AT&T rate $105]
659 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA    (800) 651-2316 or 404-897-1991

4. Regency Suites Hotel [Newly renovated, suites, about 5 blocks (0.3mi/0.5km) north of meeting; not shown on map below; use MARTA Midtown station for MARTA access. AT&T rate is $119]
975 W PEACHTREE ST NE, Atlanta, GA 30309    404-876-5003

This map has hotels indicated as black circles 1, 2, and 3. The red square "MT2" is where we’re meeting, and the North Avenue MARTA station is the long blue rectangle labeled “N3”. Our meeting place, 725 W Peachtree St (Midtown 2), is just north of the MARTA station, on the other side of 3rd St. The main entrance is on Cypress St.

Guide to Atlanta 

Getting around

MARTA is Atlanta’s public transportation system. I ride it every workday, and can recommend it as the best way to get around the city (it doesn’t run from 1am to 5am). Here is the link to its website: http://www.itsmarta.com/. If you intend to do sightseeing, you may want to print out a Rail Map from this site. Single trips are $1.75/ride + $0.50 for the re-chargeable card (one time purchase, good for 90 days). You can buy a 7-day pass for $13. The 7 days start at first use. Trip fare covers both the rail and bus system. If you arrive at the airport during “normal” hours, there are usually many MARTA employees ready and willing to help you and answer your questions. The fare machines take credit cards. I’ve heard that the 7 day passes can only be bought from the machines and not at the fare windows.

It's a direct ride from the airport to the North Avenue (N3) MARTA station. All trains from the airport go to North Avenue (and all southbound trains go to the airport). Trains run every 5 to 10 minutes, depending on time of day. It takes about 20 minutes from the airport to North Avenue. The station is in the basement of the AT&T Center. Exit to the north (follow signs to “AT&T Center”), unless you're going to the Renaissance Hotel. That's to the south. [Note: We aren’t meeting at the AT&T Center – we’re meeting across the street at the AT&T Midtown 2 building at 725 W Peachtree St., with main entrance on Cypress St.]

Taxi between the airport and Midtown (where we’re meeting) is a flat $32 + $2 for each additional person. This is a published, negotiated rate, so don’t let them rip you off. Some people tell me that walking from MARTA to a hotel at midnight is an uneasy experience (meeting homeless beggars on a deserted street at night), so please consider this when planning your local transportation.

If you insist on renting or driving a car, you can pay to do daytime parking in the AT&T/BellSouth parking lot on the northwest corner of W Peachtree St and 4th St (enter from W Peachtree St). There’s no free parking available.


Some good walking distance dining is:

Gordon Biersch (Brew Pub)

Baraonda (Italian)

Toast (European style café)

Buckhead (from the MARTA Buckhead station, or by taxi) has many restaurants and clubs and is the heart of nightlife in Atlanta. For a list of restaurants in Buckhead, categorized by either “country and region” or by “type of food or service”, go to http://www.buckhead.net/dining/.

Popular Tourist Destinations

In case you have some spare time, here is some tourist info.

Most Atlanta tourist destinations are accessible from MARTA. MARTA provides a list of popular destinations, and how to get there by MARTA, at http://www.itsmarta.com/explore/destinations.htm. This site also has links to the websites of these destinations.

Top picks-


Take MARTA north to Arts Center (any northbound train) and shuttle to Atlantic Station; to Lenox station (on the NE line – pick a “Doraville” train) for Lenox Mall (regular mall) or Phipps Plaza (upscale mall); to Dunwoody station (on the N line – pick a “North Springs train) for Perimeter Mall; or south to Five Points station for the Atlanta Underground. 

Workshop Participation

This meeting is again planned as a public workshop.  All participants have to register (regardless whether you give a presentation or not). The workshop registration webpage can be found at https://edas.info/r6443. A 150 USD registration fee will be collected for food, drinks and social event. 

In case you plan to give a presentation please help us to structure the discussions by sending us a title, abstract and duration of the presentation as soon as possible.

The slides will be distributed after the workshop.

Remote Participation

Jabber Chat Room

We are going to use the xmpp:ecrit@jabber.ietf.org.  

If you are new to Jabber then you might want to take a look at the following webpage.  

Jabber logfiles will be made available after the meeting. 

Conference Bridge / Webex 

Please find information about remote participation via conference bridge and Webex here:


Audio Recording

The program chairs will produce a podcast recordings of the meeting. The recordings will be distributed after the meeting.

Program Chairs

This workshop is organized by the following persons.

Richard Barnes
Hannu Hietalahti
Roger Hixson
Marc Linsner
Stephen McCann
Christian Militeau
Henning Schulzrinne
Barbara Stark
Hannes Tschofenig
Harry Worstell

Workshop Sponsors

We would like to thank 
for their financial support. 
If you have questions please direct them to Hannes.Tschofenig@gmx.net with a subject header of "SDO Emergency Services Workshop".