The Tennessee General Assembly passed the 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 ("the Act") on April 25, 2014. The Act, effective January 1, 2015, updates the existing model for funding 911 to account for changes in technology and consumer choice by establishing a single, uniform 911 surcharge rate.
The new uniform rate accounts for advancements in technology needed to provide Tennesseans with prompt and accurate 911 services and it is intended to adequately fund local 911 services in light of the ongoing reduction of landline use across the State. Accordingly, Canon County residential and business lines, currently charged at $1.50_and $3.00_respectively, will be adjusted to $1.16 per month. The cellular 911 surcharge will also be adjusted from $1.00 to $1.16 per month. Under the new law all communications providers will remit 911 fees to The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, which in turn would remit 911 funds to local 911 Districts throughout the State in the amount no less than the 911 revenue received by each district during FY 2015.
Roy Sullivan, Cannon County 911 DIRECTOR said "Our highest priority is the public safety to the citizens of Cannon County. 911 call takers and dispatchers remain dedicated to ensure the quality of 911 service and response."
The Act also supports the state's Next Generation 911 program. Next Generation 911 will provide better information and data to first responders, which allows local 911 operators to more quickly assess an emergency and ensure that the necessary equipment and personnel can promptly respond to the scene.
"The 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 will provide the resources necessary to ensure that the citizens of Tennessee receive the best 911 service available," said the Tennessee Emergency Communications Executive Director, Curtis Sutton. Curtis Sutton said it was extremely important that local governments understand that this new law flattens the local 911 revenue.
The new uniform rate goes into effect January 1, 2015. Customers will likely notice a change reflecting the new rate on their January telephone and cellular phone bills.