The Ohio Senate has signed off on legislation that would
require cell phone customers in the state to pay an additional fee for enhanced
The proposal would add 32 cents a month to cellular
telephone bills through Dec. 31, 2008.
In return, drivers throughout the state would get enhanced
9-1-1 service capable of geographically locating a cell phone caller with the
aid of global positioning system technology.
Enhanced 9-1-1 is a service that allows emergency
dispatchers to pinpoint the location and phone number of a person without the
caller having to say a word.
Under the bill – HB361
– half of the tax revenue would go to wireless service providers, which
are required by federal law to have GPS on all cell phones by 2005. The
remaining funds would be distributed among counties, based on their number of
wireless service subscribers, to provide for equipping and staffing answering
Ohio is only one of seven states still seeking a funding
source for the 9-1-1 upgrades.
The bill has been sent back to the Ohio House for
concurrence with Senate changes before heading to Gov. Bob Taft for approval.