O’Rielly’s letter asks that the seven states and territories “remedy” their failure to provide 911 information by providing the FCC with (1) an explanation why they did not file the requested 911 data; (2) what steps they have taken to rectify the situation and provide the requested information; and (3) acknowledge whether 911 fees were diverted in 2016, and—if so—for what purpose.

O’Rielly sent the letter on the first business day after government and industry officials celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call and the signing of Kari’s Law, which is designed to ensure that emergency callers can dial 911 directly, even from enterprises that use multi-line telephone systems (MLTS). In addition, O’Rielly and fellow FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel co-authored a recent op-ed criticizing the practice of states raiding 911 fund to pay for non-911 expenditures.

This focus on states diverting 911 fees is being monitored closely by public-safety and industry representatives who are advocating that Congress provide money to help public-safety answering points (PSAPs) migrate from legacy 911 systems to IP-based next-generation 911 (NG911) technology.

Most in the 911 industry want the emergency-calling system to remain strictly a state-and-local operation, as it has been for the past half-century. However, many Beltway sources acknowledge that the states’ practice of raiding 911 funds could cause Congress to increase oversight of federal appropriations to states regarding any new funding for the proposed emergency-calling technology upgrade.