Uniform 911 Surcharge for Landlines, Cell Phones Takes Effect Statewide

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance; January 21, 2015:

NASHVILLE – Tennessee’s new, uniform 911 surcharge took effect January 1, 2015, updating the state’s longtime model for funding 911 operations and providing for changes in technology and consumer choice.

On April 25, 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 which established a single $1.16 charge per month for residential and business lines in Tennessee.  In some cases, customers’ rates increased while others saw their rates decrease. The cellular 911 surcharge was adjusted from $1.00 to $1.16 per month.

The new uniform rate will help cover the costs of necessary technological upgrades needed to provide Tennesseans with prompt and accurate 911 services while adequately funding local 911 services in light of the ongoing reduction of landline use across Tennessee.

“The 911 Funding Modernization and IP Transition Act of 2014 will provide the resources necessary to ensure that the citizens of Tennessee receive the best 911 service available,” said Tennessee Emergency Communications Executive Director Curtis Sutton.

Additionally, the surcharge supports the state’s Next Generation 911 program. Next Generation 911 will provide better information and data to first responders, which allows local 911 operators to more quickly assess an emergency and ensure that the necessary equipment and personnel can promptly respond to the scene.

The new rate will be reflected on customers’ January telephone and cellular phone bills.