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Introduced Version Senate Bill 687 History

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Senate Bill No. 687

(By Senator Unger)

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[Introduced March 21, 2005; referred to the Committee

on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-5B-1, §15-5B-2, §15-5B-3, §15-5B-4, §15-5B-5, §15-5B-6, §15-5B-7, §15-5B-8, §15-5B-9, §15-5B-10, §15-5B-11, §15-5B-12, §15-5B-13, §15-5B- 14, 15-5B-15, §15-5B-16 and §15-5B-17, all relating to providing for a statewide emergency telephone number system; providing for contributions from telephone subscribers; providing a penalty; defining certain terms; local government immunity; powers and duties of the West Virginia Emergency Management Agency; establishing a statewide integrated wireless E-911 state plan; establishing a wireless E-Emergency Services Fund and disbursements therefrom; providing for collection of an E-911 surcharge from wireless customers and for annual reporting; establishing a wireless E-911 Emergency Services Advisory Committee; and providing for rules.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §15-5B-1, §15-5B-2, §15-5B-3, §15-5B-4, §15-5B-5, §15-5B-6, §15-5B-7, §15-5B-8, §15-5B-9, §15-5B-10, §15-5B-11, §15-5B-12, §15-5B-13, §15-5B-14, §15-5B-15, §15-5B-16 and §15-5B-17, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5B. E-911 EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS.
§15-5B-1. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Emergency communication system" or "system" means a system, including enhanced service but excluding a wireless E-911 system, which permits a person dialing by telephone to be connected to a public safety answering point, via normal telephone facilities, for the reporting of police, fire, medical or other emergency situations.
(b) "Active prepaid wireless account" means a prepaid wireless account that has been used by the customer during the month to complete a telephone call for which the customer's card or account was reduced.
(c) "Advisory committee" means the wireless E-911 Emergency Services Advisory Committee established in this article.
(d) "Agency" means the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services.
(e) "Associated with West Virginia" means, in the case of the mobile telephone number (MTN) the geographical location associated with the first six digits, or NPA/NXX, of the MTN; or means, in the case of a customer service address the physical location of the address.
(f) "Commission" means the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
(g) "Competitive local exchange carrier" means a local exchange carrier that has been certificated as a competitive local exchange carrier by the West Virginia Public Service Commission.
(h) "Contribution rate" means a fee assessed against a telephone subscriber for the nonrecurring costs, maintenance and operating costs of a system. Counties may impose a monthly contribution rate in an amount not to exceed one dollar per line on each local exchange access line. The contribution rate may be used by counties for the expenses of implementing, expanding or upgrading a system. Expenses eligible for reimbursement through the contribution rate shall include telephone terminal equipment, trunk line service installation, network changes, building of initial data base and any other nonrecurring costs to establish a system. Expenses not eligible for reimbursement through the contribution rate shall include purchase of real estate, cosmetic remodeling, central office upgrades, hiring of dispatchers, ambulances, fire engines or other emergency vehicles, utilities, taxes and other expenses as determined by the West Virginia Office of Emergency Services.
(i) "Council" means the West Virginia Emergency Management Council.
(j) "County" means one of the fifty-five counties of this state.
(k) "County plan" means the document submitted by the county to the agency, outlining its proposed or existing system, including a contribution rate, for the forthcoming three years.
(l) "Emergency notification services" means services that notify the public of an emergency.
(m) "Emergency services" means emergency services and emergency notification services.
(n) "Emergency support services" means information or database management services used in support of emergency services and emergency notification services.
(o) "Enhanced service" or "E-911" means emergency telephone service providing for automatic identification of caller location and calling number.
(p) "FCC E-911 order" means all orders issued by the federal Communications Commission pursuant to the proceeding entitled "Revision of the Commission's Rules to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency calling Systems" (CC Docket No. 94-102) codified at 47 CFR 20.18 (relating to 911 service), any successor proceeding, and any other FCC order that affects the provision of wireless E-911 service to wireless service customers.
(q) "Interexchange carrier" means a person that is authorized by the West Virginia Public Service Commission to provide long-distance telecommunications service.
(r) "Local exchange carrier" means a person, including a competitive local exchange carrier, that is authorized by the West Virginia Public Service Commission to provide local exchange telecommunications service or exchange access.
(s) "Local exchange telephone service" means the provision of telephonic message transmission within an exchange, as defined and described in tariffs filed with and approved by the Commission. (t) "Mobile telephone number" or "MTN" means the telephone number assigned to a wireless telephone at the time of initial activation.
(u) "NPA-NXX" means the first six digits of a ten-digit telephone number, including a mobile telephone number, representing the area code and exchange of the telephone number.
(v) "Person" means a corporation, a partnership, an association, the Federal Government, the State Government, a political subdivision, a municipal or other local authority, as well as a natural person.
(w) "Prepaid wireless telephone service" means a wireless telephone service which is activated in advance by payment of a finite dollar amount or for a finite set of minutes and which, unless an additional finite dollar amount or finite set of minutes is paid in advance, terminates either upon use by a customer and delivery by the wireless carrier of an agreed-upon amount of service corresponding to the total dollar amount paid in advance or within a certain period of time following initial purchase or activation.
(x) "Public agency" means the state or a political subdivision, public authority, municipal authority or any organization located, in whole or in part, within this state which provides or has the authority to provide fire fighting, law enforcement, ambulance, emergency medical or other emergency services.
(y) "Public safety answering point" or "PSAP" means the first point at which calls for emergency assistance from individuals are answered, operated twenty-four hours a day.
(z) "Sufficient positive balance" means a dollar amount greater than or equal to the monthly wireless surcharge amount. (aa) "Telephone subscriber" means a person other than a wireless service customer who contracts with a [telephone company] local exchange carrier within this state for local exchange telephone service, either residential or commercial. When the same person has several telephone dial tone access lines, each dial tone access line shall constitute a separate subscription. For purposes of the contribution rate, the term shall not include pay stations owned or operated by a regulated public utility.
(bb) "Vendor" means a person other than a local exchange carrier or a wireless provider who supplies 911 or wireless E-911 system services or equipment.
(cc) "Wireless automatic location information" or "(ALI)" means the delivery or receipt of the approximate geographic location, as specified in the FCC E-911 Order, of the wireless device being used to place a call to a system or to a wireless E-911 system.
(dd) "Wireless automatic number identification" or "(ANI)" means the delivery or receipt of the telephone number assigned to the wireless device being used to place a call to a system or to a wireless E-911 system.
(ee) "Wireless E-911 service" means service provided by a wireless provider, pursuant to the FCC E-911 Order.
(ff) "Wireless E-911 state plan" means a document to be prepared, maintained and kept current by the Office of Emergency Services providing for all aspects of the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide integrated wireless E-911 system, including the exclusive authority to approve wireless provider service agreements between a county and a wireless provider, formulate technical standards and determine permitted uses of and amounts disbursed from the Wireless E-911 Emergency Services Fund established herein.
(gg) "Wireless E-911 surcharge" means a monthly fee assessed upon each wireless service customer for each wireless two-way communication device for which that customer is charged by a wireless provider for wireless service.
(hh) "Wireless E-911 system" means an E-911 system which permits wireless service customers dialing to be connected to a public safety answering point for the reporting of police, fire, medical or other emergency situations.
(ii) "Wireless provider" means a person engaged in the business of providing wireless service to end-use customers in this state, including resellers.
(jj) "Wireless service" means a commercial mobile radio service which provides real-time, two-way voice service that is interconnected with the public switched telephone network.
(kk) "Wireless service customer" means a person who is billed by a wireless provider or who receives prepaid wireless telephone service from a wireless provider for wireless service within this state.
§15-5B-2. Exemption.
The West Virginia State Police telecommunications facilities are exempt from the telecommunications management of the Office of Emergency Services, council and the commission.
§15-5B-3. Powers and duties of county commissions.
Powers and duties.-- The county commission, shall have the following powers and duties in relation to a system: (1) To cooperate with the West Virginia State Police, any county or municipality that utilizes ANI/ALI data base services, shall upon request of the West Virginia State Police provide authority to access any and all ANI/ALI data base information relative to any and all calls for emergency services, whether the data base is held by the particular county/municipality or by a commercial entity. Counties and municipalities which receive, store or otherwise utilize location data related to emergency calls received via wireless telephone or any other medium, shall likewise provide all available data to the West Virginia State Police upon request. PSAPs and wireless providers shall not be liable for errors in any of the data bases, which may be accessed by the West Virginia State Police. In order to ensure that the county or municipality does not experience degradation of service or additional equipment costs as a result of providing this information, the West Virginia State Police shall provide the necessary means to allow the transfer of this data. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to impose on wireless providers any obligations beyond those created by applicable Federal Communications Commission orders and regulations.
§15-5B-4. West Virginia State Police.
(a) Powers and duties.-- The Superintendent of the West Virginia State Police, or his or her designee, shall have the following powers and duties in relation to a West Virginia State Police telecommunications facility:
(1) To designate, with specificity, which West Virginia State Police facilities shall be considered West Virginia State Police telecommunications facilities under this article.
(2) To designate a commander of the West Virginia State Police telecommunications facility who shall serve as the point of contact with the Office of Emergency Services and the counties and shall oversee the implementation, operation and maintenance of the West Virginia State Police telecommunications facility. The West Virginia State Police facility shall, where technologically feasible, be adequate to provide service to the designated area of coverage.
(3) To request any and all ANI/ALI data base information, as it relates to all calls requesting emergency services, from the designated counties within the West Virginia State Police telecommunications facility designated area of coverage. The West Virginia State Police shall provide the necessary means to allow the transfer of this data.
(4) To provide training and certification for all call- takers dispatchers and call-taker or dispatcher supervisors that meets or exceeds the training and certification standards.
(b) Ineligible reimbursement.-- The West Virginia State Police are not eligible to receive any reimbursement from the moneys collected from the contribution rate or wireless E-911 surcharge, nor may the West Virginia State Police impose a monthly contribution rate upon the telephone subscribers on the local exchange access line or a wireless E-911 surcharge upon wireless service customers.
§15-5B-5. Telephone records.
(a) Access.-- Each telephone service supplier shall provide customer telephone numbers, names and service addresses to E-911 systems providers of emergency services and providers of emergency support services when required. Although customer numbers, names and service addresses shall be available to E-911 systems providers of emergency services and providers of emergency support services, the information shall remain the property of the disclosing service supplier. The total cost of the E-911 system shall include expenses to reimburse telephone service suppliers for providing and maintaining information. This information shall be used only in providing emergency response services to a call. A person who uses or discloses data base information for purposes other than handling a call is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, may be fined not more than five thousand dollars. Except as otherwise provided herein, the information made available to providers of emergency services under this section shall be used solely for purposes of delivering or assisting in the delivery of emergency services. A person who uses or discloses database information for purposes other than delivering or assisting in the delivery of emergency services, or other than as provided in this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, may be fined not more than five thousand dollars.
(b) Privacy waived.-- Private listing service customers in a service district shall waive the privacy afforded by nonlisted and nonpublished numbers when using the emergency 911 service with respect to the delivery of emergency services.
(c) Immunity.-- No telephone company, wireless communications company or vendor or agent, employee or director of a telephone company, wireless communications company or vendor that provides information to providers of emergency services or providers of emergency support services shall be liable to any person who uses the 911 emergency service with respect to the delivery of emergency services established under this article:
(1) For release to a public safety answering point of information specified in this section that is not already part of the public records, including nonpublished telephone numbers; or
(2) For release to providers of emergency services and providers of emergency support services of information specified in this section, including nonpublished telephone numbers; or
(3) For release to the Commission, the federal Communications Commission or any other federal or state agency with the authority to regulate the provision of telecommunications services, of telephone company information specified in this section that is not already part of public records, including where applicable information regarding numbers of lines served by an individual company but excluding nonpublic information regarding the company's individual customer names, addresses and telephone numbers; or
(4) For interruptions, omissions, defects, errors, mistakes or delays in transmission occurring in the course of rendering emergency service, the delivery of emergency services under this article, unless the interruptions, omissions, defects, errors, mistakes or delays are caused by the willful or wanton misconduct of the telephone company, wireless communications company or vendor, their agents, employees or directors: Provided, That nothing herein shall preclude the application of any commission tariff or regulation pertaining to allowances for telephone service interruptions.
§15-5B-6. Immunity.
All 911 systems and wireless E-911 systems run by county and local governments have local governmental immunity.
§15-5B-7. Powers and duties of office of emergency services.
(a) Administration.-- The office of emergency services shall have the following powers and duties in relation to a wireless E-911 system:
(1) To designate a member of the office of emergency services who shall serve as a point of contact at the office of emergency services for all matters involving wireless E-911 systems in this state.
(2) To oversee the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide integrated wireless E-911 system, including the exclusive authority to approve wireless provider service agreements between a county and a wireless provider, formulate technical standards and determine permitted uses of and amounts disbursed from the Wireless E-911 fund.
§15-5B-8. Emergency Services Fund established.
(a) Establishment of fund.-- There is hereby established in the State Treasury a nonlapsing restricted interest-bearing account to be known as the Wireless E-911 Emergency Services Fund. The fund shall consist of the fees collected under subsection (b) of this section, funds appropriated by the Legislature and funds from any other source, private or public. Moneys in the fund and the interest accrued is hereby appropriated to the Office of Emergency Services to be disbursed by the office of emergency services.
(b) Wireless E-911 surcharge.-- Each wireless service customer shall pay a fee, to be known as the wireless E-911 surcharges in an amount of one dollar per month for each device that provides wireless service. On a quarterly basis each wireless provider shall remit the fees to the State Treasurer for deposit into the fund.
(c) Wireless E-911 state plan.-- The office of emergency services shall prepare, maintain and keep current, after adequate public notice and opportunity to comment and after consideration of the recommendations of the wireless advisory subcommittee, a wireless E-911 state plan providing for all aspects of the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide integrated wireless E-911 system in accordance with the FCC E-911 order. Pursuant to the plan, the Office of Emergency Services shall:
(1) Make arrangements with each wireless provider to provide wireless E-911 service according to the wireless E-911 state plan.
(2) Assure execution of all contracts, mutual aid agreements, cross-service agreements and all other necessary documents that may be required in the implementation of the wireless E-911 state plan. (3) Notify counties of wireless service within each county, specifically noting wireless service to more than one county. The notice also shall be provided at the time wireless service is newly initiated within the county. The office of emergency services shall designate the appropriate PSAP for wireless E-911 service for each wireless provider.
(4) Forward a copy of the completed plan and any revision thereof to all affected public agencies, wireless providers, local exchange carriers, competitive local exchange carriers and interexchange carriers.
§15-5B-9. Advisory committees.
(a) Establishment of E-911 Emergency Services Advisory Committee.-- There is hereby established an advisory committee to be known as the E-911 emergency services advisory committee.
(b) Members.-- The advisory committee shall be comprised of the following persons:
(1) The Director of the office of emergency services or his or her designee who shall act as chairperson.
(2) Two county commissioners.
(3) Two wireless providers licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.
(4) Two landline telephone service provider representatives. (5) Three representatives each from the fire service, emergency medical service and police service.

The Governor, upon recommendation of the applicable statewide organizations, associations and industry segments, shall appoint the committee members, who will each serve a two-year term. Advisory committee membership shall be limited to one representative per organization or corporate entity.
(c) Roles and responsibilities.-- The advisory committee shall make recommendations to the Office of Emergency Services regarding the formulation of technical, administrative and operational standards for use in overseeing programs statewide.
(d) Reimbursement.-- The members of the advisory committee shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary travel and other expenses in connection with attendance at meetings called by the chairperson.
(e) Advisory committee subcommittees.-- The chairperson may create, within the committee membership, subcommittees to study and address specific technical and program areas:
(1) A wireless subcommittee shall be created as a permanent subcommittee and shall consist of the following persons:
(i) The advisory committee chairperson.
(ii) One county commissioner.
(iii) Two representatives of wireless providers licensed by the federal Communications Commission.
(iv) One landline telephone service provider representatives. (2) Wireless subcommittee roles and responsibilities:

(i) To advise the office of emergency services regarding the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide integrated wireless E-911 system.
(ii) To make recommendations to the office of emergency services regarding the preparation and periodic revision of a wireless E-911 state plan providing for the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide integrated wireless E-911 system in accordance with the FCC E-911 order.
(iii) To make recommendations to the office of emergency services regarding the approval or disapproval of wireless provider service agreements and the formulation of technical standards.
(iv) To make recommendations to the Office of Emergency Services regarding the development of guidelines, rules required to address the administration of the statewide E-911 wireless program and the disbursement of funds from the Wireless E-911 Emergency Services Fund.
(v) To make recommendations to the Office of Emergency Services regarding the development of the annual report required of the Office of Emergency Services by this article, including, but not limited to, recommendations concerning adjustments of the wireless E-911 surcharge.
§15-5B-10. Expenditures of funds.
(a) Expenditures for wireless E-911 systems.-- During each fiscal year, the Office of Emergency Services may, only in furtherance of the wireless E-911 state plan, disburse moneys from the Wireless E-911 Emergency Services Fund to Office of Emergency Services-approved public agencies and wireless providers for the following purposes:
(1) To provide for recurring and nonrecurring costs for the development, implementation, operation and maintenance of a statewide integrated wireless E-911 system in accordance with the FCC E-911 order.
(2) To train emergency service personnel regarding receipt and use of wireless E-911 service information.
(3) To educate consumers regarding the operations, limitations, role and responsible use of wireless E-911 service.
(4) To provide for a wireless provider's Office of Emergency Services-approved recurring and nonrecurring costs associated with the establishment, operation, administration and maintenance of the wireless E-911 system, including the costs of designing, developing, acquiring, constructing, maintaining and operating network or other equipment, hardware and data bases.
(b) Limitations on use of fund amounts by public agencies.-- No public Office of Emergency Services shall receive a disbursement from the fund for any cost necessary to house the wireless E-911 system or for the purchase of real estate, cosmetic remodeling, ambulances, fire engines or other emergency vehicles, utilities, taxes and other expenses as determined by the Office of Emergency Services.
§15-5B-11. Reporting.
(a) Annual report by Office of Emergency Services.-- Not later than the first day of March of each year, the Office of Emergency Services, after consideration of the recommendations of the advisory board, shall submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature. The report shall include at least the following:
(1) The extent to which wireless E-911 systems currently exist in this state.
(2) Those public agencies which completed installation of wireless E-911 systems pursuant to the wireless E-911 state plan and the costs and expenses for installation.
(3) An itemization by a public Office of Emergency Services or wireless provider, project and description and expenditure for each Wireless E-911 Emergency Services Fund disbursement made in the fiscal year just concluded. The itemization shall include an explanation of how each project contributed to the fulfillment of the existing wireless E-911 state plan.
(4) The planned expenditures for the next fiscal year for installation of wireless E-911 systems pursuant to the wireless E-911 state plan.
(5) The total aggregate fees collected from all wireless providers in the fiscal year just concluded based upon the reports of providers submitted and any other funds received by the fund.
(6) The amount of any unexpended funds carried forward in the fund.
(7) The amount of any remaining unpaid Office of Emergency Services-approved costs or wireless provider costs being carried forward for payment during the next fiscal quarter.
(b) Study of wireless E-911 emergency services implementation and operation.-- The office of emergency services, after consideration of the recommendations of the advisory committee, shall report to the Governor and the Legislature its recommendations concerning wireless E-911 implementation and operation, including, but not limited to, necessary or required actions which must be undertaken in response to the federal Communication Commission's directive in the FCC E-911 order. The report shall recommend measures to be taken by the Legislature. §15-5B-12. Public disclosure and confidentiality of information.
(a) Annual report of the Office of Emergency Services. -- The annual report of the Office of Emergency Services shall be a public document.
(b) Prohibition against release of information.-- Neither the State Treasurer, the Office of Emergency Services, nor any employee, agent or representative of a PSAP or public agency shall divulge any information acquired by it or him or her with respect to any wireless provider, its customers, revenues or expenses, trade secrets, commercial information and other proprietary information while acting or claiming to act as an employee, agent or representative, and all information is hereby required to be kept confidential, except that aggregations of information which do not identify or effectively identify numbers of customers, revenues or expenses, trade secrets, commercial information and any other proprietary information attributable to any individual wireless provider may be made public.
§15-5B-13. Wireless provider records.
(a) Access.-- Upon request from and pursuant to agreement with a PSAP, each wireless provider shall provide E-911 service data base information as permitted under the law to the requesting PSAP. The information shall remain the property of the disclosing wireless provider and, except as otherwise provided by applicable federal or state law, shall be used by the PSAP only in connection with providing emergency response services to a call to a system or to a wireless E-911 system.
(b) Violations.-- A person may not:
(1) Use or disclose wireless E-911 service data base information for purposes other than handling a call to a system or to a wireless E-911 system without the consent of the wireless service customer, or as otherwise provided by applicable federal or state law.
(2) Knowingly use the telephone number of a system or wireless E-911 system to avoid any charges for the services of a local exchange carrier, competitive local exchange carrier, interexchange carrier or wireless provider.
(c) Privacy waived.-- The provisions of law (relating to dissemination of telephone numbers and other identifying information) shall have no application to wireless providers engaged in providing wireless E-911 service or related services.
§15-5B-14. Immunity.
(a) Generally.-- Nonwireless provider or its officers, directors, employees, agents or vendors shall be liable to any person for criminal penalties or civil damages resulting from, or caused by, the wireless provider's, its officers', directors', employees', agents' or suppliers' participation in or acts, failure or omissions in connection with that participation in the development, design, installation, operation, maintenance, performance or provision of wireless E-911 service, except for willful or wanton misconduct.
(b) Parity of liability.-- A wireless provider shall have the same immunity from liability for transmission errors or failures, network outages or other technical problems that arise in the course of handling emergency calls or providing emergency services (including wireless E-911 service) as a local exchange carrier enjoys in the course of handling the calls or providing services.
(c) Release of information.-- No wireless provider or its employees or agents shall be liable to any person for releasing wireless service customer information to the Office of Emergency Services or to any system or wireless E-911 system, public agency or PSAP as required by this article.
§15-5B-15. Office of emergency services funding for wireless E-911 support.

The Office of Emergency Services is authorized to retain up to one half of one percent of the annual wireless E-911 surcharge proceeds to pay for Office of Emergency Services expenses directly related to administering the wireless E-911 provisions of this article. Nothing in this article shall be construed to constitute the regulation of the rates charged by wireless providers for any service or feature which they provide to their wireless service customers, or to prohibit a wireless provider from charging a wireless service customer for any service or feature provided to the customer.
§15-5B-16. Legislative rules.
The Office of Emergency Services shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code for the implementation of this article and shall within one year of the effective date of this section, after consideration of the recommendations of the advisory board, promulgate rules as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this article.
§15-5B-7. Enforcement.
In addition to any powers expressly enumerated, the Office of Emergency Services shall have full power and authority, and it shall be its duty to enforce, execute and carry out, by its rules or otherwise, all and singular, the provisions of this article, and the Office of Emergency Services may institute injunction, mandamus or other appropriate legal proceedings to enforce the provisions and rules promulgated under this article.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to establish an E-911 Emergency System in this state.

This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.
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