New Oklahoma law adds to cellular 9-1-1 capabilities

| 7/1/2005

Gov. Brad Henry has signed a bill into law requiring cell phone customers in Oklahoma to pay an additional fee – of less than a buck a month – for enhanced 9-1-1 emergency services.

Enhanced 9-1-1 is a service that allows emergency dispatchers to pinpoint the location and phone number of a person on a cell phone without the caller having to say a word.

The new law, previously HB1751, requires each county in the state to vote on requiring wireless telephone providers to implement the enhanced service.

Areas that approve the upgrade would add 50 cents a month to cellular telephone bills.

Wireless providers also would be allowed to recoup some of the cost of adding the technology through a monthly fee ranging from 10 cents to 25 cents, The Oklahoman reported.

In return, those in the affected counties will have enhanced 9-1-1 service capable of geographically locating a cell phone caller with the aid of global positioning system technology.

Oklahoma is one of about a half dozen states still seeking a funding source for the 9-1-1 upgrades.