Texas State Representative James White (R-Woodville) on Thursday presented his bill to improve the technology of 911 services. White made the pitch to the House Committee on Homeland Security.
Known as House Bill 2911, White says the goal is to obtain and implement next-generation technology for both landline phones and cell phones in regard to 911 use. In short, the new technology would provide 911 dispatchers with the precise location of the caller. Currently, a landline telephone provides an address, which is very helpful, but cell phones only provide a general location and sometimes it can be incorrect.
That’s a problem because White said these days approximately 85%-90% of 911 calls are coming from cell phones.
White brought forth several people to speak in favor of the bill, one of whom was Jasper County Judge Mark Allen.
White said the cost for the system would be covered in an emergency services fee on phone bills. Currently, everyone already pays a $0.50 monthly 911 surcharge on their phone bill which has been in place since 1997, and before 1997 it was $0.25 per month.