9-1-1 - Funding 9-1-1 Services

Funding 9-1-1 Services

In Canada, a similar fee for service structure is regulated by the federal Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Depending on the location, counties and cities may also levy a fee, which may be in addition to, or in lieu of, the state fee. The fees are collected by local telephone and wireless carriers through monthly surcharges on customer telephone bills. The collected fees are remitted to 9-1-1 administrative bodies, which may be statewide 9-1-1 boards, state public utility commissions, state revenue departments, or local 9-1-1 agencies. These agencies disburse the funds to the Public Safety Answering Points for 9-1-1 purposes as specified in the various statutes. Telephone companies in the United States, including wireless carriers, may be entitled to apply for and receive reimbursements for costs of their compliance with federal and state laws requiring that their networks be compatible with 9-1-1 and enhanced 9-1-1.

Fees vary widely by locality. They may range from around $.25 per month to $3.00 per month, per line. The average wireless 9-1-1 fee in the United States, based on the fees for each state as published by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA), is around $0.72. Since monthly fees do not vary based on the customer's usage of the network, the fees are considered, in tax terms, as highly "regressive", i.e., the fees disproportionately burden low-volume users of the public switched network (PSN) as compared with high-volume users. Some states cap the number of lines subject to the fee for large multi-line businesses, thereby shifting more of the fee burden to low-volume single-line residential customers or wireless customers.

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