New York is asking NASA to fix their beleaguered 911 system, the Daily News reports. The space agency is better known for doing things like going into space, but city officials hope they can help troubleshoot the out-of-synch and over-budget Emergency Communications Transformation Program as well.
If NASA accepts the city’s request, acting as phone repairmen won’t be too outlandish. Nicholas Sbordone, spokesman for the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications insists, “NASA does this very thing. It’s not your grandfather’s NASA.” Full disclosure: Mr. Sbordone does not know our grandfathers.
While NASA has budget problems of its own, the 911 system has been an admitted mess and the city is desperate to fix it:
Firefighters complain the new system has sent them to bad addresses and jeopardized lives. And firefighters, cops, and EMS workers still don’t work from the same database of street names and addresses.
While contract negotiations have yet to gain steam, the city expects to pay the space agency millions of dollars a year for its services.
City officials believe NASA would cost less than the Gartner consulting company, which was paid $51.4 million over five years to provide similar services.”
You hear that, Gartner? You’re charging so much, a client has gone to NASA to save money. They send people into orbit and land rovers on Mars, what are your overhead costs?