FCC Reports 8 States, Puerto Rico Divert 9-1-1 Fees in 2015
Friday, January 13, 2017 | Comments
An annual FCC report identifies eight states and Puerto Rico as diverting a portion of collected 9-1-1 fees for non-9-1-1 related purposes in 2015. Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Washington, and West Virginia used a portion of their 9-1-1/E9-1-1 funds to support non-9-1-1-related public-safety programs. Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Puerto Rico used a portion of their 9-1-1/E9-1-1 funds for either non-public-safety or unspecified uses.

The total amount of 911/E911 funds diverted by all reporting jurisdictions in calendar year 2015 was $220.3 million or about 8.4 percent of total 9-1-1 fees collected. Eight states diverted 9-1-1 fees during 2014.

The data is part of the commission’s eighth annual report to Congress on state collection and distribution of 9-1-1 and enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) fees and charges. The report covers the collection and distribution of 9-1-1 and E9-1-1 fees and charges for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2015, and was submitted to Congress Dec. 30, 2016.

The report also contains more detailed state-by-state information than prior annual reports. The additional information includes the number and type of 9-1-1 calls, the number of public-safety answering points (PSAPs) and telecommunicators, expenditure of funds for next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) services, deployment of emergency services IP networks (ESInets) and text-to-911 service, establishment of programs to support PSAP cybersecurity, and the extent of state-level oversight and auditing of collection and use of 9-1-1 fees.

Forty-nine states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands responded to this year’s expanded data request.

Thirty-six states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported spending 9-1-1/E9-1-1 funds on NG 9-1-1 programs in calendar year 2015. The total amount of reported NG 9-1-1 expenditures from 9-1-1/E9-1-1 fees was $164.8 million or about 6.26 percent of total 9-1-1/E9-1-1 fees collected. Thirteen states, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported not spending any money on NG 9-1-1.

Thirteen states and Puerto Rico reported having deployed statewide ESInets. Fifteen states reported having regional ESInets within the state, and 10 states reported local-level ESInets.

Forty states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico reported on deployment of text to 9-1-1. Collectively, respondents reported 553 PSAPs as being text capable by the end of 2015 and projected that an additional 844 PSAPs would be text capable by the end of 2016.

Thirty-eight states, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported that they spent no 9-1-1 funds in 2015 on 9-1-1–related cybersecurity programs for PSAPs. Nine states and the District of Columbia reported cybersecurity-related expenditures.

The report finds that almost every reporting jurisdiction collects 9-1-1 fees from in-state subscribers, but many states lack authority to audit service providers to verify that the collected fees accurately reflect the number of in-state subscribers served by the provider. Eight states conducted audits in 2015.

The commission submits the report to Congress annually pursuant to the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act), which requires the FCC to report whether 9-1-1 fees and charges collected by the states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, and Indian territories are being used for any purpose other than to support 9-1-1 E9-1-1 services. The FCC said its information collection does not include federal agencies or departments operating PSAPs or having 9-1-1 responsibilities.

The FCC requested public comment on the report and the information provided by states and other reporting entities. Comments are due Feb. 13, and reply comments are due March 15.

The full report is here.

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Comments
On 1/18/17, Tcat Houserwhat said:
What? You are not joking. A TAX being diverted.


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