One of Sen. Ted Stevens’ (R-Alaska) first acts as the 110th Congress convened last week was to introduce legislation that upgrades the 911 system used to reach operators in an emergency. Stevens, the vice chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, noted that the inefficiencies in his state’s 911 have, in some cases, lead to deadly consequences. Therefore, his proposed legislation would fast track the reconciliation bill of 2005 by making its $43 million in funds allocated for public-safety groups available immediately for 911 upgrades. In other news, the senator also re-introduced the Universal Service for Americans Act, which would require communications services—such as broadband, VoIP or telephone—to pay into a fund subsidizing service in rural areas, schools and libraries.