Title 39
Public Utilities and Carriers

Chapter 21.2
Prepaid Wireless Charge Act

R.I. Gen. Laws 39-21.2-2



 39-21.2-2.  Findings.

The legislature finds that:

(1) Maintaining effective and efficient emergency services across the state benefits all citizens;

(2) 911 fees imposed upon the consumers of telecommunications services that have the ability to dial 911 are an important funding mechanism to assist state and local governments with the deployment of emergency services to the citizens of this state;

(3) Prepaid wireless telecommunication services are an important segment of the telecommunications industry and have proven particularly attractive to low-income, low-volume consumers;

(4) Unlike traditional telecommunications services, prepaid wireless telecommunications services are not sold or used pursuant to term contracts or subscriptions, and monthly bills are not sent to consumers by prepaid wireless telecommunication services providers or retail vendors;

(5) Prepaid wireless consumers have the same access to emergency 911 services from their wireless devices as wireless consumers on term contracts, and prepaid wireless consumers benefit from the ability to access the 911 system by dialing 911;

(6) Consumers purchase prepaid wireless telecommunication services at a wide variety of general retail locations and other distribution channels, not just through service providers;

(7) Such purchases are made on a "cash-and-carry" or "pay-as-you-go" basis from retailers; and

(8) To ensure equitable contributions to the funding of emergency systems from consumers of prepaid wireless telecommunication services, the collection and payment obligation of charges to support E-911 should be imposed upon the consumer's retail purchase of the prepaid wireless telecommunication service and should be in the form of a single, statewide charge that is collected once at the time of purchase directly from the consumer, remitted to the state, and distributed to E-911 authorities pursuant to state law.

History of Section.
P.L. 2010, ch. 23, art. 9, 12; P.L. 2018, ch. 47, art. 7, 10; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 2, 9.