FCC’s O’Rielly on 911 Fee Diversion
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly released the text of his letter to the Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island concerning their states diversion of 911 funds. O’Rielly told the Governors that their three states diverted the most money in both total funding diverted and on a percentage basis, according to the Commission's most recent report. O’Rielly said “Diversion of 9-1-1 fees is a serious public safety matter… Without assurances that the funding is being spent on 9-1-1 functions, the validity of the fee imposition and the confidence in emergency call systems is damaged. In addition, the diversions in your states call into question and reduce overall support for the entire fee structure, even in areas outside your states. In other words, your fee collections' untrustworthiness is contagious…More importantly, spending precious 9-1-1 funds on unrelated matters shortchanges the budgets of emergency call centers and has prevented systems from being upgraded. Having visited each of your states to understand the impact of such diversions, I can share with you that your call centers are either not sufficiently robust (e.g., NG911-ready) or are forced to supplement local call center budgets with local revenues to compensate for fees siphoned off by the state government.”
O’Rielly closed by telling the Governors that if they are “ready to exert the necessary leadership, I stand ready to work with you to eliminate the 9-1-1 fee diversion practices of your respective states. As such, I am prepared to publicly testify, including at state budgetary hearings, and/or meet to discuss the issue with whomever you believe would best be able to address the situation in your state.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC’s O’Rielly on 911 Fee Diversion, FCC Robocalling Outreach Expanded
FCC Robocalling Outreach Expanded
The FCC announced that it is furthering its multilingual consumer education efforts on unwanted robocalls and spoofing scams through its ongoing engagement with the National Asian American Coalition. Since 2017, the FCC has provided consumer tip cards in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese for distribution by NAAC through the organization’s Hope Booths (consumer education kiosks located in Asian supermarkets). NAAC is now expanding its Hope Booths from four pilot locations—primarily in the Bay Area—to 15 stores in southern California, the Bay Area, Sacramento, as well as Las Vegas. Each booth is staffed by trained volunteers and will have FCC tip cards available soon.
The FCC notes that phone scammers often target non-English-speaking communities to try to take advantage of language barriers to defraud consumers. A recent scam involved callers who posed as Chinese consulate employees to try to steal money and personal information. The FCC tip cards provide customers with helpful information for avoiding unwanted robocalls, robotexts, and spoofing scams.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.