Photo of Wesley K. Wright

Last week, the House Energy & Commerce Committee released its portion of the Budget Reconciliation Act.  This includes a $10 billion appropriation for Next Generation 911 (NG911) grant programs.

A summary of the appropriation is below.

The proposed Section appropriates $10 billion for:

  • Implementing NG911;
  • Operating and maintaining NG911;
  • Training directly related to implementing, maintaining, and operating NG911 (if the cost does not exceed 3% of the total grant award);
  • Planning and implementation activities (if the cost does not exceed 1% of the total grant award); and,
  • Administrative Expenses associated with implementation of this Section (up to 2% of the total amount appropriated).

For an entity to be eligible to participate, it must comply with the following requirements:

  • The entity must not engage in 911 fee diversion (obligations and expenditures must be “acceptable” as determined by FCC Rules and Federal Law);
  • The entity must use funds to support the deployment of NG911 in a manner that ensures reliability, interoperability, and requires the use of commonly accepted standards; and,
  • No later than three years after funds are distributed, the entity must establish or commit to establish a sustainable funding mechanism for NG911 and effective cybersecurity resources.

There are additional requirements for State and Tribal Organizations, including:

  • The entity must designate a point of contact to coordinate the implementation of NG911; and,
  • The entity’s plan for NG911 must meet minimum standards for interoperability, reliability, data processing and storage, and cybersecurity, among other requirements.

In addition to the $10 billion, the proposed Section also appropriates:

  • $80 million to establish the Next Generation 9-1-1 Cybersecurity Center to coordinate with State, local, and regional governments to share cybersecurity information, analyze cybersecurity threats, and share guidelines and best practices for intrusion detection and prevention as it relates to NG911
  • $20 million to establish a 16-member Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Advisory Board to make recommendations to the Assistant Secretary (NTIA) with respect to NG911, including administering the grant program.

Several hurdles remain to be cleared, but this is a positive development for NG911 funding nationwide.  Please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239) or Kathleen Slattery Thompson (slattery@khlaw.com; 202.434.4244) with questions.