As 9-1-1 professionals we need all the help we can get to advance these vital measures. As the only organization dedicated completely to 9-1-1 services, NENA has supported the Congressional E9-1-1 Caucus and these measures since their introduction. In the final days of lame-duck Congressional session, NENA is steadfast in its efforts and resolve to support all leaders in passing E9-1-1 legislation.
The 108th United States Congress is currently convened in its last lame-duck session (the 109th meets after the first of the year). The E9-1-1 legislation originally passed the House of Representatives (HR.2898) in November 2003. Its companion measure of the Senate, SB.1250, has been repackaged into a bill (HR. 5419), which includes other telecommunications matters along with the E9-1-1 legislation (see www.house.gov). In November, the House of Representatives passed HR.5419 amending HR. 2898 to fit compromise language with the Senate language. HR. 5419 now awaits Senate action.
NENA continues to educate Congress in the need for a clean E9-1-1 bill. This affects every citizen in the United States even those that live in Phase II communities because E9-1-1 is not just about one deployment, its about a nation, as our mobile citizenry needs a common level of service when dialing 9-1-1.
In the uncomfortable position of shepherding legislation to a final vote during an exceptionally intense period of political machinations the NENA Regulatory and Legislative Affairs Committee is requesting member and 9-1-1 support in two ways:
Your voice does make a difference. We need the E9-1-1 legislation to improve our nations safety and security by improving the deployment of life-saving technologies.
Chairman Powell Issues Statement Concerning Universal Service Fund: FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell issued the following statement regarding Congressional consideration of several important telecommunications provisions:
I understand that Congress is close to moving on a package of telecommunications provisionsnamely a spectrum relocation trust fund, an exemption to the Anti-Deficiency Act, and E911 legislation. The trust fund legislation is a vital step to release valuable spectrum for wireless broadband services. Similarly, the E911 provisions provide critical resources to Americas first responders.
USAC recently filed its projections of demand and total contribution base for the first quarter of 2005 for the universal service support mechanism. These filings demonstrate that the temporary Anti-Deficiency Act exemption is necessary to mitigate unnecessary increases to our contribution factor as well as to ensure our school children have continued access to computer resources. I hope that Congress is able to pass this legislation before adjourning.