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Bill Introduced to Reallocate D Block to Public Safety

Apr 27, 2010

In its national broadband plan, the FCC recommended that the D Block be auctioned and that Congress provide $12 billion to $16 billion in funding for a public-safety network on the PSST spectrum.

In its national broadband plan, the FCC recommended that the D Block be auctioned and that Congress provide $12 billion to $16 billion in funding for a public-safety network on the PSST spectrum. Public-safety users would be given priority access when roaming on commercial networks in the 700 MHz band under the plan, but many first-responder representatives have reservations whether that approach will be reliable enough for mission-critical communications. Instead, all major national public-safety organizations have supported D Block reallocation for public safety, noting that having 20 MHz of spectrum would greatly reduce the need for roaming onto commercial networks and would give first-responder agencies greater flexibility to pursue partnerships with other governmental and critical-infrastructure entities. As a first step to achieve that goal, HR 5081, the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2010, was introduced this week by Rep. Peter King (NY).  It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.