2023 Regular Session
To: Public Utilities
By: Representatives Porter, Anthony
AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO REQUIRE EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS DISTRICTS TO IMPLEMENT A SYSTEM TO ALLOW TEXT-TO-911 SERVICES; TO AMEND SECTION 19-5-303, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DEFINE THE TERM "TEXT-TO-911"; TO AMEND SECTION 19-5-311, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING SECTIONS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. By January 1, 2025, all emergency communications districts or the board of supervisors of any county that serves as the commissioners of such district shall implement a system to allow text-to-911 services.
SECTION 2. Section 19-5-303, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-303. For purposes of Sections 19-5-301 through 19-5-317, the following words and terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Exchange access facilities" shall mean all lines provided by the service supplier for the provision of local exchange service as defined in existing general subscriber services tariffs.
(b) "Tariff rate" shall mean the rate or rates billed by a service supplier as stated in the service supplier's tariffs and approved by the Public Service Commission, which represent the service supplier's recurring charges for exchange access facilities, exclusive of all taxes, fees, licenses or similar charges whatsoever.
(c) "District" shall mean any communications district created pursuant to Section 19-5-301 et seq., or by local and private act of the State of Mississippi.
(d) "Service supplier" shall mean any person providing exchange telephone service to any service user throughout the county.
(e) "Service user" shall mean any person, not otherwise exempt from taxation, who is provided exchange telephone service in the county or state.
(f) "E911" shall mean Enhanced Universal Emergency Number Service or Enhanced 911 Service, which is a telephone exchange communications service whereby a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) designated by the county or local communications district may receive telephone calls dialed to the abbreviated telephone number 911. E911 Service includes lines and equipment necessary for the answering, transferring and dispatching of public emergency telephone calls originated by persons within the serving area who dial 911. Enhanced 911 Service includes the displaying of the name, address and other pertinent caller information as may be supplied by the service supplier.
(g) "Basic 911" shall mean a telephone service terminated in designated Public Safety Answering Points accessible by the public through telephone calls dialed to the abbreviated telephone number 911. Basic 911 is a voice service and does not display address or telephone number information.
(h) "Shared tenant services (STS)" shall mean any telephone service operation supplied by a party other than a regulated local exchange telephone service supplier for which a charge is levied. Such services shall include, but not be limited to, apartment building systems, hospital systems, office building systems and other systems where dial tone is derived from connection of tariffed telephone trunks or lines connected to a private branch exchange telephone system.
(i) "Private branch exchange (PBX)" shall mean any telephone service operation supplied by a party other than a regulated local exchange telephone service supplier for which a charge is not levied. Such services are those where tariffed telephone trunks or lines are terminated into a central switch which is used to supply dial tone to telephones operating within that system.
(j) "Off-premise extension" shall mean any telephone connected to a private branch exchange or a shared tenant service which is in a different building or location from the main switching equipment and, therefore, has a different physical address.
(k) "Centrex" or "ESSX" shall mean any variety of services offered in connection with any tariffed telephone service in which switching services and other dialing features are provided by the regulated local exchange telephone service supplier.
(l) "Commercial mobile radio service" or "CMRS" shall mean commercial mobile radio service under Sections 3(27) and 332(d) of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, 47 USCS Section 151 et seq., and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, Public Law 103-66. The term includes the term "wireless" and service provided by any wireless real-time, two-way voice communication device, including radio-telephone communications used in cellular telephone service, personal communication service, or the functional or competitive equivalent of a radio-telephone communications line used in cellular telephone service, a personal communication service, or a network radio access line. The term does not include service whose customers do not have ready access to 911, to a communication channel suitable only for data transmission, to a wireless roaming service or other nonlocal radio access line service, or to a private telecommunications system.
(m) "Telecommunicator" shall mean any person engaged in or employed as a telecommunications operator by any public safety, fire or emergency medical agency whose primary responsibility is the receipt or processing of calls for emergency services provided by public safety, fire or emergency medical agencies or the dispatching of emergency services provided by public safety, fire or emergency medical agencies and who receives or disseminates information relative to emergency assistance by telephone or radio.
(n) "Public safety answering point (PSAP)" shall mean any designated point of contact between the public and the emergency services such as a 911 answering point or, in the absence of 911 emergency telephone service, any other designated point of contact where emergency telephone calls are routinely answered and dispatched or transferred to another agency.
(o) "Local exchange telephone service" shall mean all lines provided by a service supplier as defined in existing general subscriber tariffs.
(p) "911 emergency communication" means any FCC mandated 911 communication, message, signal or transmission made to a public safety answering point.
(q) "Voice over Internet Protocol service" means any technology that permits a voice conversation using a voice connection to a computer, whether through a microphone, a telephone or other device, which sends a digital signal over the Internet through a broadband connection to be converted back to the human voice at a distant terminal and that delivers or is required by law to deliver a call to a public safety answering point. Voice over Internet Protocol service shall also include interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol service, which is service that enables real-time, two-way voice communications, requires a broadband connection from the user's location, requires Internet protocol compatible customer premises equipment, and allows users to receive calls that originate on the public service telephone network and to terminate calls to the public switched telephone network.
(r) "Voice over Internet Protocol service supplier" means a person or entity who provides Voice over Internet Protocol service to subscribers for a fee.
(s) "Text-to-911" means the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency call takers from a mobile phone or device.
SECTION 3. Section 19-5-311, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
19-5-311. The emergency telephone system shall, when so authorized by a vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the county voting on the proposal in an election held for that purpose, be designed to have the capability of utilizing at least one (1) of the following three (3) methods in response to emergency calls:
(a) "District dispatch method," which is a telephone service to a centralized dispatch center providing for the dispatch of an appropriate emergency service unit upon receipt of a telephone request for such services and a decision as to the proper action to be taken, including an E911 system.
(b) "Relay method," which is a telephone service whereby pertinent information is noted by the recipient of a telephone request for emergency services and is relayed to appropriate public safety agencies or other providers of emergency services for dispatch of an emergency service unit.
(c) "Transfer method," which is a telephone service which receives telephone requests for emergency services and directly transfers such requests to an appropriate public safety agency or other provider of emergency services.
In addition to the required implementation of the text-to-911 services as set out in Section 1 of this act, the board of commissioners shall select the method which it determines to be the most feasible for the county.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.