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Wisconsin Pushing E911 Legislation


TMCnews Featured Article

May 09, 2008

Wisconsin Pushing E911 Legislation

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

County officials throughout Wisconsin are pushing state legislators to pass a cell phone bill surcharge that helps fund emergency communications set to expire in November.

The surcharge, which provides grant funding to cell phone service providers in an effort to upgrade equipment that allows emergency service personnel to receive mobile 911 calls, is designed  to help meet technical requirements for the deployment of wireless emergency alerts by cell phone and other mobile devices.

Often enhanced 911, or E911, emergency responders struggle to located callers and require actual verbal communication to find callers.

Funding around the country has been on the rise in a bid to enhance E911 services of late, and these technologies have been evolving. However, many states are struggling to fund these operations. According to a reporter in the Northwestern Newspaper in Wisconsin,  Winnebago County Sheriff Michael Brooks met with members of the county's Judiciary and Public Safety Committee Monday and asked them to support legislation to continue the program.

The report went on to say that the committee is “drafting a resolution to present to the county board that would urge the state legislature to continue authorization to collect the surcharge in order to provide funding that helps offset the cost of the required equipment and infrastructure.”

Now, Cell phone customers using E911 services, wont receive the 43-cent surcharge appearing on their bill beginning in December. The funding the program provides will end in April 2009, Wisconsin Public Service Commission spokesman Tim Le Monds told the Northwestern.

E911  telecommunications system automatically associates a physical address with the calling party's telephone number, and routes the call to the most appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for that address. The caller’s address and information is displayed to the PSAP calltaker immediately upon call arrival.

Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Tim Gray’s columnist page.

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