Bill Text - HB388 (2012)

(3rd New Title) requiring providers of Voice over Internet Protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.


Revision: June 7, 2012, midnight

HB 388-FN – VERSION ADOPTED BY BOTH BODIES

11Jan2012… 2773h

7Mar2012… 0907h

05/02/12 1741s

6June2012… 2447CofC

2011 SESSION

11-0502

09/03

HOUSE BILL 388-FN

AN ACT requiring providers of Voice over Internet Protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

SPONSORS: Rep. Townsend, Graf 10; Rep. Pastor, Graf 9; Rep. R. Read, Rock 16

COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy

AMENDED ANALYSIS

This bill requires providers of Voice over Internet Protocol services to pay the enhanced 911 services surcharge. The bill repeals a requirement that the enhanced 911 services surcharge provide adequate funding for enhanced 911 system operations and the statewide emergency notification system.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

11Jan2012… 2773h

7Mar2012… 0907h

05/02/12 1741s

6June2012… 2447CofC

11-0502

09/03

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eleven

AN ACT requiring providers of Voice over Internet Protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; Definitions. Amend RSA 106-H:2 by inserting after paragraph XIV the following new paragraph:

XV. “Voice over Internet Protocol” or “VoIP” means any service that:

(a) Enables real-time, 2-way voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user’s location in Internet Protocol or any successor protocol;

(b) Requires a broadband connection from the user’s location; and

(c) Permits users generally to receive calls that originate on the public switched telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.

2 Coordination by Provider of Telephone Service. Amend RSA 106-H:8, I to read as follows:

I. Every telephone utility authorized to do business in the state pursuant to RSA 374:22, I, [and] every entity which provides commercial mobile radio service, as defined in 47 C.F.R. 20.3, and required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to provide 911 service, and every VoIP provider required by the FCC to provide 911 service shall make available the universal emergency telephone number 911 for use by the public in seeking assistance from fire, police, and other related safety agencies through a single public safety answering point. Each telephone service provider shall assure that all requests for police, fire, medical, or other emergency services received by the provider or the provider's operator services shall be transferred to the public safety answering point. Such transfer shall include the calling party's telephone number in American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) in a format recommended for data exchange by the National Emergency Number Association (NENA).

3 Funding; Surcharge. Amend RSA 106-H:9, I to read as follows:

I.(a) The enhanced 911 system and the statewide emergency notification system shall be funded through a surcharge to be levied upon each residence and business telephone exchange line, including PBX trunks and Centrex lines, each individual commercial mobile radio service number, each VoIP service number with a place of primary use within New¬†Hampshire, and each semi-public and public coin and public access line. For purposes of this subparagraph, “place of primary use” shall have the same meaning as the definition contained in 4 U.S.C. section 124(8). No such surcharge shall be imposed upon more than 25 business telephone exchange lines, including PBX trunks and Centrex lines, or more than 25 commercial mobile radio service exchange lines or VoIP service lines or channels per customer billing account.

(b) In the case of local exchange telephone companies, the surcharge shall be contained within tariffs or rate schedules filed with the public utilities commission and shall be billed on a monthly basis by each local exchange telephone company.

(c) In the case of an entity which provides commercial mobile radio service the surcharge shall be billed to each customer on a monthly basis and shall not be subject to any state or local tax; the surcharge shall be collected by the commercial mobile radio service provider, and may be identified on the customer’s bill.

(d) In the case of a VoIP provider, the surcharge shall be billed to each customer on a monthly basis and shall not be subject to any state or local tax; the surcharge shall be collected by the VoIP provider, and may be identified on the customer’s bill.

(e) Each local exchange telephone company, VoIP service provider, or entity which provides commercial mobile radio service shall remit the surcharge amounts on a monthly basis, as prescribed by the commissioner, to the enhanced 911 services bureau, which shall be forwarded to the state treasurer for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund. The state treasurer shall pay expenses incurred in the administration of the enhanced 911 system and the statewide emergency notification system from such fund. Such fund shall not lapse. If the expenditure of additional funds over budget estimates is necessary for the proper functioning of the enhanced 911 system or the statewide emergency notification system, the department of safety may request, with prior approval of the fiscal committee of the general court, the transfer of funds from the enhanced 911 system fund to the department of safety for such purposes. The moneys in the account shall not be used for any purpose other than the development and operation of enhanced 911 services and the statewide emergency notification system, in accordance with the terms of this chapter. Surcharge amounts shall be reviewed after the budget has been approved or modified, and if appropriate, new tariffs or rate schedules shall be filed with the public utilities commission reflecting the surcharge amount.

4 Repeal. RSA 106-H:9, II, relative to the requirement that the enhanced 911 services surcharge provided adequate funding for enhanced 911 system operations and the statewide emergency notification system, is repealed.

5 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2013.

LBAO

11-0502

Revised 02/22/11

HB 388 FISCAL NOTE

AN ACT requiring providers of Voice over Internet Protocol services to pay surcharges for deposit in the enhanced 911 system fund.

FISCAL IMPACT:

      The Department of Safety and the Public Utilities Commission state this bill will increase state restricted revenues by an indeterminable amount, and have an indeterminable effect on state expenditures in FY 2012 and each year thereafter. There will be no fiscal impact on county and local revenues or expenditures.

METHODOLOGY:

    The Department of Safety and the Public Utilities Commission state this bill requires the $.57 enhanced 911 surcharges to be expanded to apply to pre-paid cellular telephone and VoIP service numbers. The Department and the Commission state there is no data available in which to determine the number of pre-paid cellular telephones and VoIP service numbers the surcharge would be applied to, however, the impact of the expanded surcharge would increase revenue to the enhanced 911 system fund by an indeterminable amount.

    The Commission also states the proposed legislation would have an indeterminable effect on state expenditures. The Commission’s estimates are based on an interpretation of a service line representing an individual telephone line or number. The Commission notes the state currently has about 15,000 telephone lines of which approximately 1,500 have been converted to VoIP. Under the proposed legislation, state expenditures would increase by $10,260 per fiscal year ($.57 x 1,500 service numbers x 12 months). Additionally, the Commission notes current law limits the surcharge for businesses to 25 lines per customer billing account; the state currently has many billing accounts with a varying number of telephone lines per account. The Department of Administrative Services estimates the state currently pays approximately $1,700 per month or $20,400 per year in enhanced 911 surcharges. The Commission notes that to the extent existing telephone land lines are converted to VoIP, state expenditures may increase. The Commission estimates if the state disconnected all traditional telephone service and replaced it with VoIP, total state expenditures on the enhanced 911 surcharge would increase by $82,200 per year ($15,000 X .57 = $102,600 – $20,400). However, the Commission states the increase in expenditures would likely be more than offset by savings that would be experienced as a result of the transition to VoIP.

    The Department of Administrative Services’ estimates are based on an interpretation that the state would pay the surcharge in the same manner the current Centrex lines are billed, wherein the surcharge would not be imposed on more than 25 business lines. Based on this interpretation, the Department states any effect the proposed legislation would have on state expenditures would be negligible as the surcharge fees applied to VoIP lines would be of a similar amount that the Department currently pays for the state’s Centrex lines.

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