Among the fees on your monthly phone bill is a charge to fund the 911 emergency system. They all add up to about $7 million a year, but the fee has generated a surplus of nearly $6 million, and the Public Utilities Commission is now asking lawmakers for the authority to reduce the charge.
“This bill would address that situation by giving the PUC the ability to set the rate by lowering it, but maintain the 45-cent maximum in statute,” says PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy. “We recently upgraded to an enhanced 911 system and through that contract we have seen savings. So what has happened is we have begun to accrue more money in that account than we need.”
Vannoy says the PUC can respond more quickly to adjust the fee than if it is set by law.