HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reauthorized the telephone charge residents in Carbon County pay for their local 911 systems.

Carbon County, a sixth-class county, did not request a change to its current contribution rate of $1.50 per telephone line per month.

Carbon County's 911 service area has a population of approximately 65,249.

The county is served by Verizon Pennsylvania Inc., Verizon North LLC, Palmerton Telephone Co., Windstream Pennsylvania LLC, Frontier Communications Commonwealth Telephone Co. and various competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs).

The Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act of 1990 provides for a statewide 911 emergency communication system to be administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The law allows the counties to recover the cost for 911 systems by accessing a fee on every telephone line.

Local phone companies collect the fee for the counties. Under the Act, the maximum fee that can be collected per telephone line per month is $1 for first- and second-class counties; $1.25 for third- through fifth-class counties; and $1.50 for sixth- through eighth-class counties.

The PUC reviews the contributions rates to make sure they do not exceed the allowable amount. The PUC then forwards a decision to PEMA.

The PUC has 90 days to submit its recommendation to PEMA as to whether a proposed contribution rate should be approved or modified. The plan and the surcharge are effective from the date of the PUC order for a period of three years.