E911 Emergency Reporting System Fund
A.The Fund shall be funded by means of a monthly surcharge of up to 60 cents per month imposed by providers on subscribers of telecommunications services in the State as follows:
1. Residential Telephone Service - The surcharge shall be imposed by each provider providing such service on all Delaware residential subscribers per residence exchange access line or per Basic Rate Interface ("BRI") ISDN arrangement, where the residence exchange access service is provided via a BRI ISDN arrangement. The surcharge shall not be applied to residence exchange access lines provided to Lifeline subscribers.
2. Business Telephone Service - The surcharge shall be imposed by each provider providing such service on all Delaware business subscribers per business exchange access line and trunk or per BRI ISDN arrangement where the business exchange access service is provided via a BRI ISDN arrangement. Each Centrex access line shall be charged the equivalent of 1/9 of the surcharge; provided, however, that where a Centrex customer has fewer than 9 lines, the maximum monthly charge for those lines will be the surcharge imposed on each business exchange access line or trunk divided by the customer's Centrex lines. Each Primary Rate Interface ISDN system shall be charged a rate equal to 5 times the surcharge. The surcharge shall not be applied to lines provided under wholesale arrangements.
3. Wireless Service - The surcharge shall be imposed by each wireless provider on all wireless service customers for each wireless telephone number for which they are billed by such provider.
4. Nontraditional Communication Service - The surcharge shall be imposed by each provider of nontraditional communications service on subscribers of such services where such provider is required to or opts to provide 911 service.
B. The surcharge amounts shall be deposited into the Fund as described below, along with any other state funds the General Assembly may from time to time appropriate.
C. The provider shall impose the surcharge on the person purchasing the service but shall collect it on behalf of the State. The surcharges collected by a provider shall not be subject to taxes or charges levied by the State or any political subdivision thereof, nor shall they be considered revenue of the provider for any purpose.
D. Each provider imposing the surcharge shall state such surcharge as a clearly identifiable, separate item on all subscriber invoices rendered after January 1, 2002.
E. The surcharge shall not apply to wholesale services.
F. All surcharges imposed by subsection (a) of this section shall be collected by providers from subscribers to telecommunications service with each invoice for service and shall be paid by providers on a monthly basis to the Department of Finance no later than the 15th day of the month following its collection and shall be deposited into the fund on a monthly basis.
G. Each provider collecting such surcharges shall be entitled to recover the actual incremental costs of billing, collecting and remitting such surcharges, as well as the costs of compliance with any memorandum of understanding as described in subsection (h) of this section, through a credit against them. This cost is defined as the additional incremental expense incurred by the provider that is in addition to the normal expense of billing and collecting the charges for the provision of the provider's normal telephone service. Where moneys collected by the provider are equal to or less than the total charge for the telephone service provided to subscribers or customers by that provider, not including the surcharge, all moneys collected will be applied to the charges for the actual telephone service provided.
H. Each provider collecting such surcharges shall not be responsible for uncollectable surcharges. The State may also enter into a memorandum of understanding with each provider which shall include, but need not be limited to, the terms related to the collection and distribution of funds pursuant to this chapter and provide for reporting to the Board the names and addresses of subscribers that fail to pay the surcharge. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the State or the Board from taking appropriate actions to collect such surcharges designated by a provider as uncollectable.
I. Each provider collecting such surcharge is fulfilling a governmental function and in so doing is immune from suit for damages of any kind and is not liable for refunds except to the extent that the provider has failed to collect or remit surcharges to the Fund in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.
J. The Fund is created as a nonappropriated special fund. Balances in the Fund on June 30 of each year shall carry forward and shall not revert to the General Fund.