Senate Bill No. 279
(By Senators Wooton, Love and Bailey)
[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;
reported February 7, 1996.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article six, chapter
twenty-four of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to further amend said
article by adding thereto a new section, designated section
six-b, all relating to local emergency telephone systems;
defining and redefining terms; authorizing public wireless
telecommunications utilities to provide local emergency
telephone services; providing for an enhanced 911 fee;
authorizing the public service commission to establish
amount of fees and to disburse the same to counties;
setting forth method for fee calculation and disbursement;
providing for annual recalculation of fee and disbursement;
creating escrow account for counties which have not adopted
enhanced 911 ordinance; providing for the disbursement of escrowed funds upon adoption of ordinance; providing for
the distribution of remaining escrow funds; and authorizing
the discontinuance of service for failure to pay fee.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article six, chapter twenty-four of the
code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said article be
further amended by adding thereto a new section, designated
section six-b, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. LOCAL EMERGENCY TELEPHONE SYSTEM.
As used in this article, unless the context clearly requires
a different meaning:
(1) "County answering point" means a facility to which
enhanced emergency telephone system calls for a county are
initially routed for response, and where county personnel respond
to specific requests for emergency service by directly
dispatching the appropriate emergency service provider, relaying
a message to the appropriate provider or transferring the call to
the appropriate provider.
(2) "Emergency services organization" means the organization
established under article five, chapter fifteen of this code.
(3) "Emergency service provider" means any emergency services organization or public safety unit.
(4) "Emergency telephone system" means a telephone system
which through normal telephone service facilities automatically
connects a person dialing the primary emergency telephone number
to an established public agency answering point, but does not
include an enhanced emergency telephone system.
(5) "Enhanced emergency telephone system" means a telephone
system which automatically connects the person dialing the
primary emergency number to the county answering point and in
which the telephone network system automatically provides to
personnel receiving the call, immediately on answering the call,
information on the location and the telephone number from which
the call is being made, and upon direction from the personnel
receiving the call routes or dispatches such call by telephone,
radio or any other appropriate means of communication to
emergency service providers that serve the location from which
the call is made.
(6) "Public agency" means the state, and any municipality,
county, public district or public authority which provides or has
authority to provide fire-fighting, police, ambulance, medical,
rescue or other emergency services.
(7) "Public safety unit" means a functional division of a public agency which provides fire-fighting, police, medical,
rescue or other emergency services.
"Telephone company" or "telephone service supplier"
means a public utility, including a public wireless
telecommunications utility, which is engaged in the provision of
telephone service by means of either wire or wireless facilities.
(9) "Comprehensive plan" means a plan pertaining to the
installing, modifying or replacing of telephone switching
equipment; telephone utilities' response in a timely manner to
requests for emergency telephone service by a public agency;
telephone utilities' responsibility to report to the public
service commission; charges and tariffs for the services and
facilities provided by telephone utilities; and access to
emergency telephone system by emergency service organizations.
(10) "Technical and operational standards" means those
standards of telephone equipment and processes necessary for the
implementation of the comprehensive plan as defined in
subdivision (9) above.
(11) "Public wireless telecommunications utility" means any
entity, including cellular carriers and personal communications
service carriers, as defined by the federal communications
commission, which provides, to the public within the state, switched two-way telecommunications service which subscribers
access by means of radio equipment.
§24-6-6b. Wireless enhanced 911 fee.
(a) Beginning on the first day of July, one thousand nine
hundred ninety-six, all public wireless telecommunications
utilities, as defined in section two of this article, shall, on
a monthly basis, collect from each of their in-state two-way
service subscribers a wireless enhanced 911 fee. The public
service commission shall, no later than the first day of June,
one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, issue an order directing
the public wireless telecommunications utilities to identify
subscribers of in-state two-way telecommunications services and
specifying how such utilities will address fee collection
shortages resulting from uncollected fees. The public service
commission shall solicit the views of the public wireless
telecommunications utilities prior to issuing the order.
(b) The wireless enhanced 911 fee shall be calculated by the
public service commission according to the following formula:
(1) The fee shall be the weighted average, as of the first
day of March, one thousand nine hundred ninety-six, of all of the
enhanced 911 fees imposed by the counties which have adopted an
enhanced 911 ordinance;
(2) The fee shall be recalculated, effective the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-seven, and on an annual
(c) The wireless enhanced 911 fee moneys collected, after
removal of a two percent collection fee which may be retained by
the public wireless telecommunications utilities, shall be sent,
on a monthly basis, to the public service commission. The public
service commission shall, on a quarterly basis, disburse the fee
revenue in the following manner:
(1) Each county shall receive a pro rata portion, based on
that county's percentage of the total number of telephone access
lines and line equivalents in service in the state, of the fee
revenues received by the public service commission. The public
service commission shall recalculate the county disbursement
percentages on an annual basis, with the changes effective on the
first day of July of each year, and using data as of the
preceding first day of March, which data shall be supplied, on a
county specific basis, by no later than the first day of June of
each year, to the public service commission by the public
utilities which normally provide telecommunications service by
means of lines, wires, cables, optical fibers, etc. extended to
(2) Counties which have adopted an enhanced 911 ordinance shall receive their share of the wireless enhanced 911 fee
revenue for use in the same manner as the enhanced 911 fee
revenues received by those counties pursuant to their enhanced
(3) The public service commission shall deposit the wireless
enhanced 911 fee revenue for each county which has no adopted an
enhanced 911 ordinance into an escrow account which shall be
established for that county. Any county with such an escrow
account may, immediately upon adopting an enhanced 911 ordinance,
receive the moneys which have accumulated in the escrow account
for use as specified in subdivision (2), subsection (c) of this
section. Every five years all fee revenues on deposit in escrow
accounts shall be disbursed on the pro rata basis specified in
subdivision (1) subsection (c) of this section, except that data
for counties which have not adopted an enhanced 911 ordinance
shall be omitted from such calculation, and all escrow accounts
shall be reestablished with a zero balance.
(d) Failure by a public wireless telecommunications utility
two-way telecommunications service subscriber to timely pay the
wireless enhanced 911 fee shall be adequate basis for the
discontinuation of public wireless telecommunications utility
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a wireless
enhanced 911 fee.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added. §24-6-6b is new; therefore, strike-throughs
and underscoring have been omitted.