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TO MEMORIALIZE THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION TO SUSPEND THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE WIRELESS NUMBER PORTABILITY RULES UNTIL THE WIRELESS COMPANIES SERVING THE RESIDENTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA HAVE IMPLEMENTED FULLY THE CAPABILITIES NECESSARY FOR EMERGENCY COMMUNICATIONS, HOMELAND SECURITY, AND COMPLIANCE WITH THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION'S E-911 MANDATES, AND TO MEMORIALIZE CONGRESS TO ENACT LEGISLATION THAT PREVENTS THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION FROM REIMPOSING THE WIRELESS NUMBER PORTABILITY RULES UNTIL IT FINDS THAT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THESE CAPABILITIES AND COMPLIANCE WITH THESE MANDATES IS COMPLETE.
Whereas, more than 156,000 emergency 911 calls are placed from wireless telephones everyday; and
Whereas, wireless telecommunications play an equally important role in homeland security communications; and
Whereas, reliable wireless emergency and homeland security communications require substantial investments in wireless infrastructure to ensure reliable service; and
Whereas, the delivery of emergency calls requires additional investment in specialized capabilities to provide location information; and
Whereas, these investments must be made in rural as well as urban areas, and include investments to expand in-building coverage; and
Whereas, for the last five years the wireless industry has been activating an average forty-eight new cell sites a day and will invest billions more nationwide to deploy enhances 911 (E-911) capability in accordance with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules; and
Whereas, wireless consumers in South Carolina pay at least twelve million dollars annually in 911 fees to aid the implementation and expansion of wireless 911 services in South Carolina; and
Whereas, as of March 2003, jurisdictions in South Carolina with a combined population of 3,517,000 have requested wireless carriers to provide E-911 capabilities and the necessary wireless and other upgrades have been or are in the process of being completed; and
Whereas, the Network Reliability and Interoperability Council, an advisory council to the FCC, has adopted more than 750 "best practices" to strengthen the nation's communications networks from attack and speed restoration in the event of an attack; and
Whereas, the improvements in wireless networks necessary to provide emergency services and enhance network security require not only significant funds, but also a commitment of technical and other resources; and
Whereas, the FCC has enacted "number portability" rules that will require wireless carriers to spend an estimated one billion dollars in the first year alone for the convenience of the relative few customers who want to take their wireless number with them if they change providers; and
Whereas, those funds will be siphoned away from the build-out of wireless infrastructure that could enhance the safety of all citizens of South Carolina; and
Whereas, the resources of wireless carriers are better spent on the system build-outs and other capabilities necessary for emergency communications; and
Whereas, wireless number portability could actually degrade emergency services in rural areas by preventing public safety agencies from identifying the originating number of a wireless emergency call. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the members of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina request that the Federal Communications Commission suspend the effective date of the wireless number portability rules until the wireless companies serving the residents of South Carolina have fully implemented the capabilities necessary for emergency communications, homeland security, and compliance with the Federal Communications Commission's E-911 mandate and request the members of the United States Congress to enact legislation that prevents the Federal Communications Commission from reimposing the wireless number portability rules until such time as it finds that implementation of these capabilities and compliance with these mandates is complete.
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to members of the South Carolina Congressional delegation: Senator Ernest F. Hollings, Senator Lindsey O. Graham, and Representative Henry Edward Brown, Jr., Representative Addison Graves "Joe" Wilson, Representative J. Gresham Barrett, Representative James W. Demit, Representative John M. Spratt, Jr., and Representative James E. Clyburn, and Federal Communications Commissioners, Michael K. Powell, Kathleen Q. Abernathy, Michael J. Copps, Kevin J. Martin, and Jonathan S. Adelstein.
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