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Session Law

2002

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Chapter 61 AN ACT ESTABLISHING WIRELESS ENHANCED 911 SERVICES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Section 18A of chapter 6A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2000 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the definition of "Enhanced 911 service" and inserting in place thereof the following definition:-

"Enhanced 911 service", a service consisting of telephone network features provided for users of the public telephone system enabling such users to reach a public safety answering point by dialing the digits 911. Such service directs calls to appropriate public safety answering points based on selective routing, and also provides the capability for automatic number identification and automatic location identification.

SECTION 2. Said section 18A of said chapter 6A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of "Enhanced 911 systems" the following definition:-

"FCC Order", all orders issued by the Federal Communications Commission pursuant to the proceeding entitled "Revision of the Commission's Rules to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems" (CC Docket No. 94-102; RM 8143), or any successor proceeding, including all other criteria established therein, regarding the delivery of wireless enhanced 911 service by a wireless carrier.

SECTION 3. Said section 18A of said chapter 6A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the definition of "Telephone company" the following 2 definitions:-

"Wireless carrier", all commercial mobile radio services, as that term is defined in 47 U.S.C. section 332(d).

"Wireless enhanced 911 service", the service required to be provided by wireless carriers pursuant to the FCC Order.

SECTION 4. Section 18B of said chapter 6A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (b) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-

(b) The board shall coordinate and effect the implementation of enhanced 911 service and wireless enhanced 911 service, and administer such service in the commonwealth. The board shall promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of such service in accordance with chapter 30A. Not later than 6 months after its organization, the board shall establish technical and operational standards for the establishment of public safety answering points which utilize enhanced 911 network features in accordance with section 14A of chapter 166 and section 18C of this chapter. Cities and towns shall comply with such standards in the design, implementation and operation of public safety answering points. The board may inspect each public safety answering point that utilizes enhanced 911 network features to determine if it meets the requirements of said section and all other technical and operational standards required by law. In implementing wireless enhanced 911 service, the board shall promulgate rules and regulations consistent with the provisions required by the Federal Communications Commission.

The number of public safety answering points and answering positions at primary public safety answering points shall be determined by the board according to a formula that takes into account cost, efficiency and the public safety needs of cities and towns. Applications for secondary public safety answering points shall be reviewed and approved by the board. The installation and operation costs of secondary public safety answering points shall be the responsibility of the applicant.

SECTION 5. Said section 18B of said chapter 6A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following 2 subsections:-

(g) No provision of this section shall be construed or interpreted to alter the regulation of providers of telecommunications services pursuant to chapter 159.

(h) The board shall work with the disability community and with cities and towns to ensure that wireless carriers are aware of the availability of and encouraged to use adaptive technology, and to ensure that wireless enhanced 911 service is accessible to persons with disabilities to the maximum extent feasible.

SECTION 6. Said chapter 6A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 18G the following section:-

Section 18H. (a) There shall be imposed on each paying telecommunication service subscriber, whose telecommunication service is capable of directly accessing and utilizing a 911 emergency telephone system, a surcharge in the amount of 30 cents per month per wireless mobile telephone number, based on the area code chosen by the subscriber. With the approval of the board, a wireless carrier may impose this surcharge based on the subscriber's billing address. Based on the actual expenditures incurred in implementing a wireless enhanced 911 system, the statewide emergency telecommunications board may increase this monthly fee to a maximum of 75 cents per month. Any increase shall be justified in its annual report to the general court. The surcharge shall be collected by the wireless carrier or reseller providing the wireless enhanced 911 service and shall be shown on the subscriber's bill as "Wireless Enhanced 911 Service Surcharge", or the appropriate abbreviation. The surcharge shall not be subject to sales or use tax. The subscriber shall be liable for the surcharge imposed under this section. The wireless carrier or reseller shall have no obligation or authority to enforce the collection of the surcharge.

(b) Each wireless carrier or reseller shall remit the surcharge revenues collected from its subscribers to the state treasurer for deposit in the Wireless Enhanced 911 Fund. The surcharge revenues shall be expended solely for the activities of the board, the creation and maintenance of public safety answering points and the recovery of costs by wireless carriers incurred in providing wireless enhanced 911 service in compliance with provisions required by the Federal Communications Commission. All costs incurred by telephone companies in assisting with the delivery of enhanced 911 service shall only be recovered pursuant to the directory assistance charging plan authorized by section 19A of chapter 159.

(c)(1) The board shall disburse funds from the Wireless Enhanced 911 Fund for the acquisition, upgrade or modification of public safety answering point equipment to be capable of receiving wireless enhanced 911 service information, including necessary computer hardware, software and database provisioning; personnel costs of approved public safety answering points and emergency communications centers which process wireless calls based on reports required in subsection (d); network development, operation and maintenance; database development, operation and maintenance; on premise equipment maintenance; the acquisition, provisioning, operation, and maintenance of any additional hardware, software, database or data connectivity needed to implement the FCC order throughout the commonwealth; training emergency service personnel regarding the receipt and use of wireless enhanced 911 service information; educating consumers regarding the operation, limitation, role and responsible use of wireless enhanced 911 service; and any expenses incurred by the statewide emergency telecommunications board in administering and operating the wireless enhanced 911 project.

(2) The board shall also disburse funds, subject to the availability of the funds after the disbursement authorized in paragraph (1), to wireless carriers that provide wireless enhanced 911 service at the request of the board. The reimbursements shall be limited to all of the wireless carrier's non-recurring and recurring costs associated with designing, upgrading, leasing, purchasing, programming, installing, testing, administering, or maintaining all necessary data, hardware and software required to provide wireless enhanced 911 service. The board may enter into agreements for the payment of all non-recurring and recurring wireless enhanced 911 service costs to the wireless carrier.

(d) Each wireless carrier and each reseller shall report to the board on a quarterly basis the total surcharge revenues collected from its subscribers during the preceding quarter; the total amount billed to the board by the wireless carrier of its rates and recurring costs associated with any service, operation, administration or maintenance of wireless enhanced 911 service during the previous quarter; and the total amount billed to the board by the wireless carrier of administration costs to cover the expenses of billing, collecting and remitting the surcharge. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, such quarterly report shall not be a public record.

(e) The board shall examine call volumes and system performance of wireless public safety answering points and communications centers on an annual basis and make recommendations for the board to consider. The board shall approve funding additional personnel requirements only if necessary.

SECTION 7. Section 18H of said chapter 6A is hereby repealed.

SECTION 8. Chapter 10 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 35V, inserted by section 7 of chapter 177 of the acts of 2001, the following section:-

Section 35W. (a) There is hereby established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Wireless Enhanced 911 Fund. There shall be credited to such fund all revenues received by the commonwealth from surcharges imposed under section 18H of chapter 6A; from appropriations; from gifts, grants, contributions and bequests of funds from any department, agency or subdivision of federal, state or municipal government, and any individual foundation, corporation, association or public authority; revenue derived from the investment of amounts credited to the fund; and any federal funds made available for emergency telecommunication services. The fund shall be used solely for the purposes described in said section 18H of said chapter 6A.

(b) Amounts credited to the fund shall be available for expenditure by the statewide telecommunications board, without further appropriation. The board shall report annually to the general court its planned expenditures for the next fiscal year; the uses to which the fund was used in the last fiscal year and the balance remaining in the fund; and the aggregate surcharges collected in the last fiscal year based upon quarterly reports of wireless carriers as required under subsection (d) of section 18H of chapter 6A. The report shall also include a request, if necessary, for appropriation for deposit in the fund.

SECTION 9. Section 7 of this act shall take effect on June 30, 2007. The remaining provisions of this act shall take effect on June 30, 2002.

Approved March 15, 2002.

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