News From Terre Haute, Indiana

April 18, 2013

Fiber optic cable boosts ISU’s 911 service

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A new fiber optic line connecting Vigo County with Indiana State University has been completed after several months’ delay.

The concern arose last year when power went out on the university campus and ISU police could not be readily contacted, said Rob McMullen, director of Vigo County 911.

“They did not have sufficient battery backup. This connection will be more reliable, because the connection we had was running through the city/ISU bus terminal at Seventh and Cherry streets, and if the terminal lost power, the 911 connection for ISU would go down,” McMullen said Tuesday.

“911 calls could still be answered at our dispatch center but they were not able to answered at ISU,” McMullen said. “All of ISU’s calls would roll” over to the county’s central dispatch.

In October, the Vigo County 911 Board approved $9,000 to extend a secure E911 fiber connection about 375 feet from the Vigo County Juvenile Center to a married student housing building owned by ISU.

“We had equipment issues, and there had to be some computer programming to get it up and running,” McMullen said.

The next step, McMullen said, is to change computer switches and linkages at ISU’s public safety to a managed CISCO switch. Initial testing of that did not work as configured. “We are doing some additional testings to get this accomplished,” he said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or