Since their introduction, 911 services have grown both in geographic scope and in the level of service provided. The revenue used to fund 911 services consists almost entirely of fees and surcharges on wireline, wireless, and Voice-over-Internet-Protocol telephone lines. These fees and surcharges generate billions of dollars each year, but 911 service revenues still fall short of estimated annual costs. Expenditures for personnel and for technology maintenance and upgrades have also increased over time. American consumers’ use of telephone lines has shifted from primarily wireline telephone lines to primarily wireless and Internet-based telephone lines with smaller fees and surcharges, contributing to the funding gap. To address this gap, federal, state, and local authorities must respond. The federal government can update the funding framework to give additional regulatory power to the states, and it can also make more grant funding available. State authorities can increase existing 911 fees and surcharges and implement new 911 fees and surcharges on products and services that can request emergency responses. Local governments can seek alternative revenue sources such as grants and local fees, and individual dispatch centers can proactively budget their existing funds.



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