Funding Emergency 9-1-1 Services

B.C.'s existing 9-1-1 system faces a variety of challenges, including variable availability and costs, coverage gaps, and addressing abandoned calls. New revenue sources will need to be found to address theses issues and to upgrade the system to include texting and other emerging communications technologies. UBCM has prepared a background document and is now seeking feedback from its members.

Delegates in a Tuesday clinic heard that B.C.'s existing 9-1-1 system faces a variety of challenges, including variable availability and costs, coverage gaps, and addressing abandoned calls. Major technological upgrades will be required to meet public demands on the system. In the future it will need to handle new information sources (text, pictures, video, etc.) and the coverage will need to be expanded in the province. New revenue sources will need to be found to pay for these changes.

The current 9-1-1 emergency system is currently paid for by either a levy on landlines or by local property taxpayers. Cell phone and other users of wireless services do not directly contribute to the provision of the system.

Responsibility for delivering the 9-1-1 service lies with local government. UBCM members have supported a number of resolutions requesting the implementation of a province-wide cell phone levy to contribute to costs.

Seeing the opportunity to work in partnership with the Province and the telecommunications industry to address the issue, UBCM undertook a review of this policy issue.

Meta Navigation