About The Arkansas 911 Board
On April 2, 2019, the Arkansas 92nd General Assembly approved HB 1564 replacing the Arkansas Emergency Telephone Services Board with the Arkansas 911 Board. The Arkansas 911 Board consists of twelve members representing Public Safety stakeholders from across the state. One major objective of Act 660 was to replace the current 911 surcharge for wireless and VoIP services with a public safety fee creating additional funding to support the implementation of Next Generation 911 service in the State of Arkansas. Appointments to the Arkansas 911 Board were completed in late July with AJ Gary, Director, Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) serving as Chairman. The first meeting of the Board was held on August 19, 2019.
Act 660 tasks the Board with developing a plan by January 1, 2022 to provide funding for no more than seventy-seven (77) Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to operate in the state. Arkansas currently has more than 100 primary PSAPs that accept calls from wireless, wireline and Voice over IP (VoIP) subscribers. The Board is required to provide an annual report to the Governor and the Legislative Council.
Act 660 also tasks the Board to create standards for PSAP interoperability and to assist Arkansas PSAPs with the implementation of Next Generation 911 (NG911) service.
Effective October 1, 2019, the public safety fee of $1.30 replaced the $0.65 911 surcharge for wireless (post-paid) and VoIP service subscriptions, and a public safety charge of 10% per retail transaction replaced the $0.65 911 surcharge pre retail transaction. There were no changes to the 911 surcharge (or emergency telephone service charge) on wireline services.
The public safety fee will provide an increase in revenue to the Arkansas 911 Board which will assist in supporting the implementation of NG911 services. Act 660 also created a Public Safety Trust Fund to which the public safety fee is remitted.
The Arkansas 911 Board will retain an interest-bearing account from which to manage the public safety fee that is distributed to the Arkansas 911 Board from the Arkansas Public Safety Trust Fund. Beginning July, 2020, The Arkansas Public Safety Trust is required to distribute up to $2,000,000 to the Arkansas Wireless Information Network (AWIN) quarterly to assist in the support the maintenance of the statewide emergency communications network. The first payment of $2,000,000 was withheld from the public safety revenue that was received in November and December, 2019. The Arkansas Public Safety Trust is also required to distribute up to $62,500 each quarter to the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training for the 911 Telecommunicator Training. The first payment of $62,500 was withheld from the public safety revenue received in November and December, 2019. The Arkansas Public Safety Trust is also required to distribute $14,000 to ADEM each month for administrative support of the Arkansas Public Safety Trust Fund. Each month after these distributions have been satisfied, all remaining funds in the Arkansas Public Safety Trust Fund will be distributed to the Arkansas 911 Board.
The revenue received by the Arkansas 911 Board from the public safety fee and distributed to the Board from the Arkansas Public Safety Trust Fund are allocated as follows:
- 83.75% will be distributed on a population basis to each political subdivision operating a PSAP that has the capability of receiving 911 calls associated with wireless, VoIP, and non-traditional 911 calls.
- 15% will be is held by the Arkansas 911 Board and may be used to reimburse PSAPs for annual maintenance costs, pay for the legacy network used to deliver 911 calls to the PSAP, and to purchase a statewide infrastructure for NG911 services.
- 1.25% may be used by the Arkansas 911 Board for administrative expenses, staff, consulting services, and an independent auditor for an annual fiscal year audit.
Notice of the Arkansas 911 Board meetings will be posted on the calendar on this website as well as the Arkansas Public Meetings calendar.