E911 services may soon raise rates

By: Martha Spencer Email
By: Martha Spencer Email

As technology advances more people are dropping land lines and opting to only use cell phones. But, when it comes to emergency calls, cell phones are only charged a flat rate, which is less than land lines.

With less revenue coming in to Emergency 911, funding rates may change in the near future.

"Ever since the inception of the 911 in the early 1990's we've never had an increase in our 911 fees" said Clark Matthews of the Houston County Emergency Management Agency.

With cost increases on the rise and 911 revenue dropping, the 911 Advisory Board has been forced to examine four proposals in rate changes, in order to continually provide the same emergency service.

Matthews said, "our expense has gone up so much today that one we're gonna have to cut back on service and not plan for the future, or plan for the future and provide the best emergency services that we can provide."

Emergency 911 revenue has fallen twelve percent from land lines, because more people are turning to just using cell service. The 911 service only receives a flat rate of fifty six cents per cell phone, and revenue from that has also capped. Funing is needed to maintain a level of service, and prepare for future safety resources,

"Most people now communicate now to some degree and we feel like that service is something that we've got to provide now ,a great scenario if you had an intruder in your house and you hid in your house and you could text message to us what’s going on in your home" said Matthews.

Texting can also be used during natural disasters when tower signals are too weak to provide phone support.

Of the four proposals the maximum land line rate increase would be under three dollars, and the minimum increase would be around $1.66. Of course the Advisory Board could also vote against any rate hikes.

News Four will bring your the outcome to that vote when it is made.

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