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Update! 911 Legislation Comes Into Effect on April 1
Cellphone customers in Alberta will see a 44 cent levy on their monthly cellphone bills starting April 1, 2014, when the Emergency 911 Act comes into effect.
The money from the new levy will help fund 911 call centres across the province.
The Act will also bring in fines for frivolous 911 calls that abuse the system and it will allow for the creation of province-wide standards for 911 call taking.
None of us can predict when an emergency is going to happen. But when it does, we all depend on 911 operators to pick up the line when we dial those three all important numbers. Today, 911 call centres in Alberta are facing serious challenges ranging from declining funding, spiking call volumes and the affordability of new technology. The new Emergency 911 Act helps address these challenges.
- The 911 levy is 44 cents, the same as the landline fee, which has been in place for 12 years.
- It will be charged on any wireless subscription for a device that can contact 911 such as an active cell phone.
- The levy will take effect in April 1 2014, when the legislation comes into force.
- A frivolous 911 call is any 911 call deliberately made to waste time or abuse the service.
- $5,000 fine for first time offenders.
- $10,000 fine for repeat offenders.
Standards and Legal Protection
- The government will work with stakeholders to create province-wide standards, processes and procedures for 911 call taking. This will ensure consistent service delivery across the province.
- Better legal protection for 911 operators will helps them maintain their focus on serving Albertans.
- 911 call centres need support as they look for ways to introduce new technology.
- For example, in the future someone who is speech or hearing impaired will need to be able to text with 911; or
- a 911 operator could use GPS to pinpoint the location of someone who passed out during a 911 call.