For Immediate Release: December 1, 2015
Contact: Regina L. Davis, 202-898-9382, firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON—Citing an urgent public safety issue, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners has issued a letter to Congress calling for an accelerated transition from analog to digital emergency 911 systems. The letter was drafted in response to the November 17 Federal Communications Commission Oversight Hearing, at which FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urged Congress to respond to the 911 issue.
Addressed to Representative Greg Walden and Representative Anna Eshoo, Chair and Ranking Member, respectively, of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, the letter stands in agreement with Chairman Wheeler's assessment that the need to transition roughly 6,000 emergency systems to next generation 911 is "a crisis for public safety communications." Nearly 240 million calls are made annually to 911 systems.
Co-signed by NARUC President Travis Kavulla of Montana and South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Chair Chris Nelson, the letter recommends that Congress use future spectrum proceeds to provide funding to States and local governments to help accelerate the transition of public safety answering points to next generation 911 networks.
"This is a call to action that cannot go unanswered," says President Kavulla. "As Congress seeks to find solutions to this problem—which may involve the private sector—NARUC and its members are committed to remain engaged in these discussions, which will move our emergency networks into an effective, reliable 21st century platform. Our communities deserve as much."
NARUC passed a resolution at its 127th annual meeting in Austin, Texas, November 11 supporting accelerated deployment of next generation 911, which was included with the letter. A copy of the letter is available at here on NARUC's website.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.
# # # #