FCC commissioner criticizes diversion of 911 fees

March 20, 2018

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — A representative with the Federal Communications Commission has levied heavy criticism on Rhode Island for diverting 911 fees, calling it an “enormous deception.”

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly gave his statements during a meeting with first responders at the Cranston Central Library Monday. O’Rielly says the state has diverted more than $8 million, or 60 percent, of the 911 fees it collected.

Republican state Rep. Robert Lancia tells the Providence Journal residents with landline phones pay $1 for the service, while cellphone users pay $1 and 26 cents for geolocation services.

The state collected more than $15 million in fees last year, but the state’s 911 center only received $5.4 million in funding.

Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo says her administration would support legislation creating a restricted account for 911 fees.

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