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Emergency Communications Board

ABOUT tecb


The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, also known as the state E-911 Board, is an independent board comprised of nine members, eight of whom are appointed by the Governor and serve a fixed term. The ninth member is the Comptroller of the Treasury or his designee. The Board, created in 1998 and located within the Department of Commerce and Insurance for administrative purposes, serves as the state's authority with regard to E-911 issues.


The Board's enabling legislation authorizes it to:


  • Implement wireless 9-1-1 service across the state according to the Orders of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC);
  • Assist emergency communications districts boards of directors in the areas of management, operations and accountability;
  • Adjust the emergency telephone service charge on landlines in emergency communications districts;
  • Oversee the finances of the state's 100 local emergency communications districts which are statutory municipalities;
  • Establish technical operating standards for all E-911 districts;
  • Act as the deciding agency between local governmental entities concerning E-911 service and emergency communications;
  • Supervise the operations of a “financially distressed” emergency communications district;
  • Provide technical assistance to emergency communications districts;
  • Establish training and course of study standards for all 911 dispatchers and call takers receiving an E-911 call from the public;
  • Provide grants for operating and capital expenditures for basic or enhanced 911 service and wireless enhanced 911 service to assist emergency communications districts.


The Board's activities are totally self-funded through a monthly surcharge of $1.00 imposed on all commercial mobile radio service (commonly referred to as cellular or wireless) users, including “prepaid” services.


Of the $1.00 per month fee that is collected by the Board and deposited in the state's dedicated “Emergency Communications Fund,” by law:


  • $.03 is retained by the carriers for administrative purposes;
  • $.97 remains with the Board to fulfill its statutory mandates; and
  • 25% of that $.97 is redistributed to local emergency districts according Census population.


The Board also provides cost recovery to emergency communications districts, telecommunications carriers and E-911 service providers for cost associated with implementing, maintaining and advancing wireless E-911 service.


Call taking and dispatch E-911 operations throughout the state are conducted by, or are under the authority of local emergency communications districts. These local districts are financially supported primarily by monthly fees placed on wireline telephone service, but also through a combination of dispatch fees for services to local governments, reimbursements and grants from the state Board, and the statutory remittance from state Board wireless fee collections.