Wednesday, September 22, 2010

City Bylaw To Collect From Wireless Services Providers

The E9-1-1 Call Answer Levy (CAL) Bylaw has passed through three readings at the City of Nanaimo Council meeting and will be moving forward to its final reading for consideration on October 4th, 2010. Essentially the CAL bylaw will obtain the participation of Wireless Services Providers (WSPs) to assist with the funding of 9-1-1 services by ensuring a User Pay System. The CVRD and RDN, who are partners in the 9-1-1 Operating System will be considering the same Bylaw in their jurisdiction.

The CAL is not an additional tax. The CAL bylaw allows for a ‘universal’ levy/rate covering the full cost of 911 operations by including WSPs thereby reducing the annual property tax levy for 911 services by approximately $500,000. The impact on the homeowner with a landline and cell phone will be zero and those without a cell phone will experience some savings as a result of the CAL.

Comment: It sounds like a good and fair idea, however, if you think the phone company is going to cough up $500,000 without a fight, I've got some more swamp land for sale. How much money does the city have in reserve to fight the legal battle to enforce this bylaw? How would they enforce it anyway??


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