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Wireless Dealer Magazine CITA 2013 Issue

W D M assess E911 fees on prepaid services, or adopted new rules specifically tailored to prepaid. This has resulted in a patchwork of inconsistent approaches to capturing E911 fees from end users of prepaid wireless services. This presents a particularly challenging compliance environment for nationwide providers, since the lack of uniformity results in disparate and burdensome requirements. Certain existing regulations do not account for the unique attributes of the prepaid market (e.g. lack of monthly billing, failure to maintain customer billing addresses). Despite these challenges, many states continue to apply statutes requiring monthly invoicing and collection based upon customer address. For example, Alabama requires prepaid wireless providers to collect the E911 fee from all customers with a billing address in Alabama, and to disclose the fee on monthly invoices. T-Mobile challenged this practice in court, arguing that the statute could not be applied to its prepaid services because the company did not ArizonA, ColorAdo, dC, illinois, louisiAnA, MiChigAn And TexAs Apply A fee CAlCulATed As A perCenTAge of The reTAil sAle priCe rAnging froM 0.8% To 7%. send monthly invoices or collect customer addresses. The Alabama Supreme Court disagreed, finding that T-Mobile had made a business decision not to maintain the relevant information to ensure compliance with the statute, and was not exempted from compliance as a result. In contrast, a number of recently adopted regulations take into account prepaid industry specific features, for example, by allowing collection other than through monthly invoicing. Traditionally, most wireless E911 surcharges have been applied on a per connection, subscriber or line basis. Thus, prepaid providers were obligated to collect the fee from consumers even if they did not sell directly to end users, but instead, sold services to retailers from whom end users purchased the services. But, in 2007, the wireless industry proposed model legislation proposing “point of sale” collection of E911 fees to address the 142


Wireless Dealer Magazine CITA 2013 Issue
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