2 New Reports Offer Data on 9-1-1 Fee Diversion, NG 9-1-1 Deployments
Friday, December 20, 2019 | Comments

Two federal reports on 9-1-1 were released this week. The FCC published its 11th annual report to Congress on the collection and distribution of 9-1-1 fees by states, with five states diverting fees for other purposes during 2018.

The report finds that during 2018, states and territories collected more than $2.6 billion in 9-1-1 fees, and $197.9 million of that funding was diverted for uses other than 9-1-1 by Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and West Virginia. The number is down from last year’s report, which found that almost $285 million in 9-1-1 fees was diverted by six states and one territory during 2017.

“The FCC’s report on state 9-1-1 fees once again shows that some states are diverting the money they collect away from 9-1-1-related services,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “This is unacceptable. When Americans pay 9-1-1 fees on their phone bills, they expect that money to fund 9-1-1-related services. Instead, more than 7% of the fees collected went to other purposes. While this year’s numbers show movement in the right direction, there is still more work to be done to ensure that all money is spent on 9-1-1-related services.”

In a letter following the report’s release, Reps. Greg Walden and Bob Latta called for bipartisan cooperation to stop the diversion of 9-1-1 fees for unrelated, non-emergency purposes.

"According to the FCC’s 11th annual report to Congress, five states diverted over $197 million in 9-1-1 fees for unrelated purposes, raising questions about how this practice impacts public safety," the letter said. "Our first responders and public-safety professionals deserve better, and we urge you to bring legislation before the committee expeditiously to end all diversion of 9-1-1 fees."

In addition, the FCC’s report contains detailed state-by-state data on other aspects of 9-1-1 deployment in the United States, including the number and type of 9-1-1 calls, the number of 9-1-1 call centers and telecommunicators, investment in next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1), programs to support cybersecurity for 9-1-1 systems, and the extent of state-level oversight and auditing of the collection and use of 9-1-1 fees.

The FCC is required by law to submit an annual report to Congress on the states’ collection and distribution of 9-1-1 fees. More information on the report is here.

A second report from the National 911 Program delves into NG 9-1-1 deployments by states and territories. The report outlines progress toward implementing NG 9-1-1, emergency medical dispatch (EMD) protocols and text-to-9-1-1. The data is part of a database managed by the National 911 Program.

The National 911 Program shares detailed findings and analysis of data from the 2018 calendar year. The report found that 31 states reported adopting strategic plans for NG 9-1-1, an increase from 20 states since 2015. Thirty-three states reported having public-safety answering points (PSAPs) with EMD protocols, and 16 of those have quality assurance requirements for compliance.

In addition, 31 states reported having minimum training requirements, and 14 states reported that 100% of their 9-1-1 systems are processing and interpreting location and caller information using next-generation infrastructure.

The National 911 Program report is here.

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