During a Senate hearing Tuesday on legislation that mandates E-911 functionality for voice-over-Internet protocol systems, lawmakers suggested that new taxes may be necessary to ensure adequate funding for 911 system upgrades as they challenged representatives of the telecom and public safety industries to suggest ways in which 911 funding may be accomplished. Although a pending Senate bill known as the IP-Enabled Voice Communications and Public Safety Act would require IP-based voice operators to provide enhanced 911 emergency services to subscribers, the measure contains no funding mechanism to support required system upgrades. Warning that sources of 911 funds for traditional wireline exchange networks are being depleted as customers shift increasingly to IP and other platforms that remain largely unregulated, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) quipped: “I don’t think we can go into a markup to pass a bill that has no future unless you have money.” As Inouye questioned whether E-911 fees on current subscriber bills are sufficient to fund new IP-based 911 networks, Wanda McCarley, the president of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International (APCO), agreed that, without adequate funding, current disparities among 911 public safety answering points (PSAPs) would be exacerbated. Nevertheless, in response to Inouye’s question, McCarley expressed confidence that the industry would come up with funds required for new IP-based 911 systems, as “every new technology that comes on line has to be dealt with.” While a witness for Vonage cautioned against the imposition of taxes and suggested instead that lawmakers and industry players look “very carefully at fees currently in place and how they’re being spent,” a representative of 911 equipment maker Intrado predicted, “there will be more costs paid by the American public to have more features as the system grows more complex.” Ranking committee Republican Ted Stevens (R-AK) recommended that the cost of funding be “spread . . . out as broadly as possible so [the cost per person] is as small as possible.”