联邦通信委员会启动诉讼,罢工部队停止911费用转移

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联邦通信委员会委员们履行国会授权的过程中迈出了第一步,一致通过了一项拟议规则,以帮助解决各州和其他政府实体将911费用收入转用于与紧急呼叫工作流程无关的举措这一长期问题

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去年12月,国会通过了“不要破坏2020年的t波段法案”,其中包括指示FCC6月25日前通过规定,规定哪些类型的资金将构成对911向电话用户收取的费用收入的不当转移。此外,立法还责成联邦通信委员会建立一支跨部门打击部队,研究此事,并秋季向国会报告

联邦通信委员会委员们履行国会授权的过程中迈出了第一步,一致通过了一项拟议规则,以帮助解决各州和其他政府实体将911费用收入转用于与紧急呼叫工作流程无关的举措这一长期问题

去年12月,国会通过了“不要破坏2020年的t波段法案”,其中包括指示FCC6月25日前通过规定,规定哪些类型的资金将构成对911向电话用户收取的费用收入的不当转移。此外,立法还责成联邦通信委员会建立一支跨部门打击部队,研究此事,并秋季向国会报告

多年来一直直言不讳地反对911费用转移的联邦通信委员会代理主席杰西卡·罗森沃塞尔(Jessica Rosenworcel)表示,联邦通信委员会第一次以她为主席的投票将涉及911费用转移是“合适的”,特别是该行业寻求资金来源以支付下一代911(NG911)技术升级的时候

Rosenworcel周三网络直播的FCC虚拟会议上说:“现实是,随着数字时代的到来,有一些技术可以改进这个系统,增强紧急呼叫。”。“然而,如果不首先停止一种被称为911费用转移的做法,我们不太可能美国各地看到这些升级。这仅仅意味着,当各州允许对911服务的通讯费收费时,他们不应该掉头把这些费用寄往别处,从而这一过程中损害公共安全

“我们知道911费用转移的结果可能是悲惨的。这可能导致呼叫中心人手不足,紧急情况等待时间延长,公共安全人员调度迟缓。”

联邦通信委员会委员布伦丹·卡尔同意这一观点,并与罗森沃塞尔一样,对前联邦通信委员会委员迈克尔·奥瑞利(Michael O'Rielly)制止911费用转移做法的努力表示赞赏,至少有少数几个州已经实施了多年

根据拟议规则制定的通知,委员会要求评论者界定从911费用中收取的收入的可接受用途,以及指定为911费用转移者的州或其他司法管辖区可采用何种上诉程序

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“所有好的想法都是受欢迎的,我们需要它们,”Rosenworcel说,提到工作组。“事实上,我相信,我们应对当前的流感大流行和向下一代911过渡的过程中,它们能够产生有意义的变化

“它们对于面临资金挑战的州来说尤为重要,对于全国各地运营紧急呼叫中心的911接线员来说,它们也非常重要。他们应该得到应有的支持。收费分流需要停止。”

APCO执行董事兼首席执行官德里克·波奇(Derek Poarch)表示支持为防止911费用收入被挪用所做的努力,并对911的整体融资情况进行了评估

Poarch一份事先准备好的声明中说:“APCO期待着建议有效措施,确保用于911的资金用于911。”。“这必然需要考虑911中心多大程度上通过各种渠道获得足够的资金,无论是否收费。”

NENA的监管法律顾问和政府事务总监丹·亨利(Dan Henry)也表示支持这一程序,但提醒不要采取措施,惩罚911系统为当选国家官员做出的决定提供资金

亨利一份事先准备好的声明中说:“现比以往任何时候,当每个州都需要资金来加速下一代911的推出时,美国消费者为支持911而支付的资金都不能被转用于其他用途,这一点也很重要,我们避免因911无法控制的行为而对其进行处罚。我们期待着对拟议规则制定的通知作出回应,并感谢委员会对这一问题的关注

 

英文译文:

FCC commissioners took the first step in fulfilling a mandate from Congress by unanimously approving a proposed rules to help tackle the longstanding issue of states and other governmental entities diverting revenues from 911 fees to initiatives that are not related to the emergency-call workflow.

In December, Congress passed the “Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act of 2020,” which included language directing the FCC to adopt rules by June 25 that define what types of funding would constitute improper diversion of revenues collected from 911 fees charged to phone subscribers. In addition, the legislation charged the FCC with establishing an interagency strike force to study the matter and report to Congress in the fall

Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel—an outspoken opponent of 911 fee diversion for years—said it was “fitting” that the first FCC vote with her acting as chair would be about 911 fee diversion, particularly as the industry seeks funding sources to pay for upgrades to next-generation 911 (NG911) technologies.

“The reality is that, with the advent of the digital age, there are technologies that could improve this system and enhance emergency calling,” Rosenworcel said Wednesday during the virtual FCC meeting, which was webcast. “However, we are unlikely to see those upgrades in all parts of the United States without first halting a practice known as 911 fee diversion. That simply means that, when states allow a charge on communications bills for 911 service, they should not be turning around and sending those fees elsewhere, shortchanging public safety in the process.

“We know the results of 911 fee diversion can be tragic. It can lead to understaffed calling centers, longer wait times for an emergency, and sluggish dispatch for public-safety personnel.”

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr agreed and—like Rosenworcel—applauded the efforts of former FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly to halt the practice of 911 fee diversion, which has been practiced by at least a handful of states for many years.

Under the notice of proposed rulemaking, the commission asks commenters to define acceptable uses of revenues collected from 911 fees, as well as what kind of appeal procedure would be available to a state or other jurisdiction that is designated as a 911 fee diverter.

Nominations of members for the new Ending 911 Fee Diversion Now Strike Force are due on March 19, according to a notice issued today by the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB).

“All good ideas are welcome—we need them,” Rosenworcel said, referencing the task force. “In fact, I believe they can make a meaningful difference as we navigate both the ongoing pandemic and the transition to next-generation 911.

“They are especially important for states wrestling with funding challenges, and they matter deeply for the nation’s 911 operators who run emergency call centers across the country. They deserve the support intended for them. Fee diversion needs to stop.”

APCO Executive Director and CEO Derek Poarch expressed support for efforts to prevent diversion of revenues from 911 fees, as well as an evaluation of 911 funding overall.

“APCO looks forward to recommending effective measures for ensuring that funds intended for 911 are used for 911,” Poarch said in a prepared statement. “This will necessarily entail consideration of the extent to which 911 centers are being sufficiently funded through all sources, whether or not fee-based.”

Dan Henry, regulatory counsel and government-affairs director for NENA, echoed the support for the proceeding but cautioned against measures that would penalize 911 systems for funding decisions made by elected state officials.

“Now more than ever, when funding is needed in every state to speed the rollout of next-generation 911, it is imperative that monies paid by American consumers to support 911 not be redirected to other purposes,” Henry said in a prepared statement. “It is also critical, however, that we avoid punishing 911 for actions outside its control. We’re looking forward to responding to the notice of proposed rulemaking, and appreciate the commission’s focus on the issue.

 

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