Georgia bill HB 1049 calls for a $.75 charge per retail transaction for pre-paid wireless services. I don’t have a problem with funding E-911 services with a monthly charge per line, but the bill as written isn’t clear about what exactly classifies as a retail transaction.
The bill defines retail transaction as the purchase of pre-paid wireless service from a seller for any purpose other than resale. It’s the any purpose that gets me. The only legitimate purpose should be prepaid voice services. Until public safety networks are capable of receiving and relaying instant messaging or e-mail, I see no other purpose for assessing a charge that funds E-911 services but for the voice portion of the service. Because of the way text, voice, and video are bundled, however, other pre-paid services will get lumped in regardless.