585-X-l-.05 Determination of active voice communication connections in Alabama technically capable of accessing a 9-1-1 system and subject to collection of the monthly 9- 1-1 service charge.

  1. (1) The Alabama legislature has passed Act No. 2012-293 amending Chapter 98 of Title 11, creating a statewide 9-1-1 Board which is responsible for establishing and collecting a single, statewide emergency service charge applicable to all voice services provided within the state as of October 1, 2013. In order to effectively implement the new statewide rate on October 1, 2013 and ensure continued funding of Alabama's Emergency Communication Districts, the Board is required to implement regulations to provide clear guidance to service providers and subscribers as to the application of the 911 service charge to different classifications of subscribers and service configurations. The Board has published proposed permanent rules set for public hearing on September 18, 2013; however, there is insufficient time for such rules to become effective prior to the October 1, 2013 effective date. This delay in publication of the proposed permanent rules could not have been reasonably foreseen during the 120 day period in which Emergency Rule No. 1 was in effect. Failure to adopt such emergency regulations in time for the providers to make necessary programming changes could imperil the implementation  of the statewide 911 fee, and thus constitute an immediate danger to public safety and welfare. This emergency regulation shall remain in effect for six months from its effective date, unless earlier terminated by permanent proposed Rule 585-X-4-.0l

(2) Unless otherwise defined herein, the definition of terms set forth in ALA. CODE § 11-98-1, (1975 as amended), are incorporated by reference herein.

(3) A single, monthly statewide 9-1-1 fee is to be imposed on each active voice communication service connection in Alabama that is technically capable of accessing a 9-1-1 system, except to the extent such connection(s) is exempt under ALA. CODE § 98-1l-l(a)(16) (1975 as amended).

a) Subject to the additional clarification in Section 3(b) below the term "Voice Communications Service" is defined as any of the following:

i. The transmission, conveyance, or routing of real-time, two-way voice communications to a point or between or among points by or through any electronic, radio, satellite, cable, or optical, microwave, wire line, wireless, or other medium or method, regardless of protocol used.

ii. The ability to receive and terminate voice calls to and from the public switched telephone network.

iii. Interconnected VoIP service, as that tenn is defined by 47 C. F. R. Sec. 9.3.

b) Active voice connections subject to the statewide 911 service charge shall include:

i. All telephone voice communications service that permit users to have exclusive use of a wireline subscriber loop or access line for each  call placed, or, in the case of wireless telecommunications carriers, which use spectrum shared among users to provide  service, a dedicated message path for the length of a user's particuJar transmission and for which a local directory number (LDN) has been assigned.

ii. With respect to voice connections provided via digital service platforms, such as a primary rate integrated services digital network (PRI) or Internet protocol based services, the number of such connections at a given location subject to assessment of the charge shall be the number of active connections that:

A. Are configured for or otherwise capable of outbound calling including to a 911 system or center, and

B. Have a local directory number (LDN) assigned by the service provider to the customer premise device that is permanently or semi-permanently tethered to the digital service.

C. All Lifeline connections in Alabama, both wire line and wireless.

iii. A provider of integrated VoIP service subject to 47 CFR 9.5 or a VoIP provider that otherwise provides a Subscriber with the ability to receive and terminate voice calls to and from the public switched telephone network and to access the 911 network, regardless of the technical means of doing so, shall be the provider responsible for collecting and remitting the statewide 911 charge.

(4) Examples of application of Statewide 911 Charge: The illustrations in (a) through (g) below are intended to provide guidance to Service Providers implementing the new statewide 911 Charge and do not address the application of 911 charges prior to such date. Service Providers seeking additional guidance regarding the application of the statewide 911 charge to particular circumstances may seek a declaratory ruling from the Board.

a) A Subscriber has purchased a T-1 facility from its Service Provider using a "Primary Rate Interface" ("PRI") that provides for 23 voice channels and one digital channel that is not available for use for voice traffic. While the service provides for only 23 voice channels, the Service Provider has assigned 50 local directory numbers to the account and location served by the T-1, with the numbers utilized for DID type call routing to individual employees.  The Service Provider is required to bill 911 fees on _50_ Voice Communication Service Connections.

b) A Subscriber has purchased a T-1 facility from its Service Provider using a "Primary Rate Interface" ("PRI") that provides for 23 voice channels and one digital channel that is not available for use for voice traffic. The Service Provider has assigned six local directory numbers to this account and location served by the T-1. The Service Provider is required to bill 911 fees on _6_ Voice Communication Service Connections .

c) A Subscriber has purchased digital signal-3-level (DS3) service from its Service Provider, who has assigned 105 Local Directory Numbers to the account and location served by this DS3. The Service Provider should bill 911 fees on 105  Voice Communication Service Connections.

d) The Service Provider in question 2 above has also reserved 10 numbers for the Subscribers accounts, which are not yet activated or in use. It is not required to bill 911 fees on such reserved numbers.

e) A Subscriber purchases an Ethernet based VoIP service from a Service Provider with 60 assigned Local Directory Numbers. The Service Provider is required to bill 911 fees on 60_ Voice Communication Service Connections.

f) A Service Provider provides a number to the Subscriber that, when dialed, automatically forwards the voice traffic to a local directory number used by the Subscriber in another Alabama county or municipality. (A 911 fee is collected on the number in the other location.) The Service Provider should collect a 911 fee on such number used for forwarding purposes since the line is in fact a fully provisioned line with an LDN and could be used if needed to access a 9- 1-1 center.

g) A residential Subscriber purchases a "vertical" service feature, activated at the Service Provider's central office that provides a distinctive ring on home phone for anyone who is calling another family member residing at the same location. To provide that service, the Service Provider assigns a second local directory number to the same line which, when  dialed,  activates  the  distinctive ring. However, the feature does not provide the Subscriber, or the other family member, with an option to complete calls to the local exchange network under the second number. The Service Provider should collect 0 911 fees on such service.

Chapter Name: 
Chapter Number: 
Rule Number: 
James T. Sasser
Statutory Authority: 
Code of Alabama, 1975 Sections 11-98-1; 11-98-4.1; 11-98-5, as amended
Emergency Rule: Adopted August 28, 2013; effective September 4, 2013

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