+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 29-05F

Municipal Charges for Cellular 911 Service

January 1, 2005
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2008
Active Status:
Community Services
Vote Results:
Carried as Amended

WHEREAS the 911 call centres respond to callers whether they are on a land line or a cellular phone;AND WHEREAS the 911 call centre receives approximately 50 per cent of their call volumes from cellular phones;AND WHEREAS many residents are switching to only using cellular phones, and therefore not contributing to the 911 service through the land line levies used to fund the service;AND WHEREAS there is an existing mechanism to charge cellular customers through their service providers similar to the levy the service providers charge for their own services;

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties lobby the CRTC ruling which allowed cellphone companies to charge a surcharge on cellphone users for the purpose of development of technology for caller identification and caller locate which is now developed;AND FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that a committee led by AAMDC should request the CRTC to redirect the surcharge on cell phones to 911 call centres to offset the costs of receiving and processing 911 cellphone calls, which range between 60% to 90% of total calls.

Member Background:

Wireless service rates are not regulated. In order to remain competitive within the market, most cellular carriers are unwilling to apply additional user fees unless there are industry-wide regulations in place. The AAMDC is being asked to form a committee to determine if a municipal levy can be placed on cellular phone users who are provided access to 911 services, and to engage other potentially interested stakeholders including the AUMA and the Alberta 911 Association in this process. The committee would outline the advantages and disadvantages of wireless service charges and determine if similar approaches have been taken by other provinces.The Alberta 911 Association has already established a sub-committee to promote the ability to levy a municipal charge to support 911 call centres, but additional stakeholder support is required to support these efforts.


Cellular companies obtain access to emergency 9-1-1 service through the telephone companies since 9-1-1 service is provided by municipalies in conjunction with the telephone companies. The CRTC has determined that the costs incurred by municipalities and telephone companies are to be recovered from all telecommunications services users. It also decided that the wireless service companies would be charged on a per telephone number basis and devised a formula for determining the rates. The CRTC decision neither directed the cellular telephone companies to pass on this charge to their customers nor approved any new wireless 9-1-1 charge imposed by them. Any determination to do so is at the discretion of the cellular service provider.

Federal Ministries and Bodies:
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
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