Gov. Bob Taft recently signed legislation that would require
cell phone customers in Ohio to pay an additional fee for enhanced 9-1-1
The new law will add 32 cents a month to cellular telephone
bills through Dec. 31, 2008.
In return, drivers throughout the state will have 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 new law, previously HB361, half of the tax revenue will go to wireless service
providers, which are required by federal law to have GPS on all cell phones by
2005. The remaining funds are to be distributed among counties, based on their
number of wireless service subscribers, to provide for equipping and staffing
Ohio was only one of seven states still seeking a funding
source for the 9-1-1 upgrades.
The fee will start being implemented May 6.