E911 Hosted Solutions Featured Article
FCC's Plan May Create New Fee
By Alice Straight, TMCnet Web Editor
The public safety fee, which would be used to support a $16 billion emergency wireless network, is described in the plan as “nominal.” Officials have said they expect it to be in the 50 cents to $1 range.
Congress must grant the FCC permission to impose the fee.
The new fee could pose a challenge to the wireless industry.
The industry supports the FCC’s plan for an auction of radio spectrum in the D block for private uses, which would be shared with emergency groups. However, the wireless industry dislikes adding more user fees.
The main wireless industry association in the U.S., the CTIA (News - Alert), which runs mywireless.org, has organized a lobbying effort to oppose a bevy of state and local taxes and fees on wireless service. So far, the CTIA hasn't taken a public position on the public safety fee, and a spokeswoman said the group is determining whether policymakers want it to replace a fee used to support emergency 911 services.
However, an official familiar with the discussions said the proposed new fee is likely to be separate from the E911 fee, meaning that both would be paid by consumers.
Mywireless.org has estimated that the average wireless consumer already pays 16 percent in taxes and fees, which for the average household adds up to $350 a year in wireless taxes.
Alice Straight is a TMCnet editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Alice Straight