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Can I opt out of 911 service on a computer fax line?

Ashley Withers

Q. Can I opt out of 911 service on a computer fax line that will never be used to dial emergency services? I have had a secondary computer line for faxing and never been charged a monthly fee for 911 service since this line is not for voice.  Now New Hanover County wants to start charging a monthly fee.  I do not want to pay for a service I will not use since this line is for data only.  I pay for 911 service on my home and cell phones now and am wondering why they want to charge me for a data only line.  What are my options and whom do I contact to opt out?



A. The short answer is no. While many people consider fax lines to be a “data only line,” a fax line has the capability to be used for data and voice, according to New Hanover County spokesperson Charles Smith.

North Carolina Statute 62A-43(a) states, “A monthly 911 service charge is imposed on each active voice communications service connection that is capable of accessing the 911 system.”

A fax line fits this definition and must be charged the 911 fee, Smith said.



Is there a law against abuse of the 911 system for nonemergency ambulance calls?

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3 Responses to “ Can I opt out of 911 service on a computer fax line?”

  1. On October 1, 2013 at 5:04 pm NEPender wrote:

    Of course you can’t get out of paying that fee. Who do you think gets the money that is collected as the E911 surcharge? The county gets it.

    Look at lots of the other fees you are charged on a landline phone line. The government taxes the mess out of them.

  2. On October 3, 2013 at 8:08 am Kay wrote:

    My fax doesn’t have a telephone attached. By the time I could figure out how to unwire it to dial in to 911, the emergency would be over. Just another absurd fee. What’s next? A dollar fee to walk in a county park?

  3. On October 3, 2013 at 8:45 am daniel wrote:

    I guess you could fax the word “HELP” to 911.

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