Public Safety Alliance- Dedicated to First Responders… First
  • December 15th, 2011 | Endorsements

    PSA Letter to Majority Leader Reid and Republican Leader McConnell

    We urge the Senate to pass legislation that includes D Block allocation to public safety with sufficient funding to expedite nationwide construction of the public safety broadband network that includes rural America, and does not include damaging provisions to require 700 MHz narrowband giveback, nor an unworkable and unaccountable private entity “administrator” governance model. Additionally, the PSA urges the Senate to maximize state and local flexibility in allowing enhanced “secondary use” of the public safety broadband network by non-public safety entities and users, as well as with respect to forming public and private partnerships that best meet their specific needs to assure sustainment of their mission-critical public safety broadband systems. In sum, the PSA strongly believes that S.911 best provides these priorities, and we urge you together as the Senate’s leadership to replace the Walden JOBS Act provisions that compose Title IV of H.R. 3630 with language similar to S. 911 for Senate passage of the overall bill. Click here to download the full letter.

  • November 16th, 2011 | News Clippings

    Law Makers Urge Super Committee to Include D Block and Funding for Public Safety Broadband

    Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Congressman Peter King (R-NY) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) were joined by more than 40 uniformed public safety officials and dozens more supporters to urge members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or Super Committee, to include S.911 language to allocate the D block spectrum within the 700 MHz band to public safety and to provide for $11 billion for construction of the Public Safety Broadband Network.

  • September 3rd, 2011 | News Clippings

    First Responders Communicate Better After 9/11

  • September 1st, 2011 | ABC News: The Blotter | News Clippings

    Sept. 11 Anniversary Report Card: Not a Lot of A’s

    video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
    Ten years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, the 9/11 Commission report card on making this country safer from terrorist attacks revealed today U.S. security scored very few A's, lots of C's and incompletes, and at least two significant F's.

    Congress was to blame for that shortcoming for failing to allocate new broadcast frequencies for common use by all first responders," said Gov. Tom Kean, the co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission which was organized to recommend ways to prevent another terror attack.

  • September 1st, 2011 | CBSNewYork/AP | News Clippings

    10 Years After 9/11, First Responders’ Radios Still Not Connected, Report Finds

    Less than two weeks before the tenth anniversary of 9/11, there is new information on how the country handles national security. The 9/11 Commission has issued a report card that says the U.S. is safer than it was after the terror attacks. But the commission is still concerned that some of their most important recommendations aren’t in place. One of the major issues was that first responders still can’t communicate with one another.

  • September 1st, 2011 | By ALICIA A. CALDWELL, Associated Press | News Clippings

    Post-9/11, emergency radios still not connected

    Amid the chaos of the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001, emergency responders found they could not communicate with each other. That problem persists 10 years later, according to a review of the 9/11 Commission's recommendations.

  • September 1st, 2011 | ISRIA | News Clippings

    DHS: Remarks by Under Secretary Rand Beers at the Technologies for Critical Incident Preparedness

    Broadband Network / D-Block: To fully achieve the vision of the 9/11 Commission, we believe our emergency responders must have a nationwide, interoperable public safety network that leverages new, high-speed, wireless broadband communications. As President Obama noted in his State of the Union Address, these advancements can enable a firefighter to use a handheld device to download the design of a building before arriving at the scene of an emergency. These types of capabilities have the potential to save lives.

    Congress must do its part as well, which means freeing up the necessary broadband spectrum, known as D-block, to enable this network to operate. We appreciate the bipartisan Congressional leadership on this issue that crosses committees of jurisdiction, including Chairman Lieberman, Chairman Rockefeller, Chairman King and Senator McCain. We are confident that through continued cooperation with Congress, we can deliver a network that meets the needs of America's first responders whom all Americans rely upon.

  • August 31st, 2011 | News Clippings

    The 9/11 Report Card: Support the Immediate Allocation of the D-block Spectrum to Public safety

    The 9/11 Report Card was released today by 9/11 Commission bipartisan co-chairs, former Governor Thomas Kean (R-NJ) and former Congressman Lee Hamilton (D-NY). The Report Card states, “We support the immediate allocation of the D-block spectrum to public safety and the construction of a nationwide, interoperable broadband network. Because we don't know when the next attack or disaster will strike, we urge the Congress to act swiftly.”

  • August 26th, 2011 | News Clippings

    Cities, Counties Call on Congress to Reallocate D-block Spectrum in Aftermath of Earthquake

    The National Association of Counties (NACo), National League of Cities (NLC), and United States Conference of Mayors today renewed their call to Congress to reallocate 700MHz D-Block spectrum for a national interoperable broadband network for public safety.

  • August 26th, 2011 | News Clippings

    NAAG Letter to Senate and House Leadership

    National Association of Attorneys General Wrote: "The 112th Congress is considering the passage of several bills on D-Block wireless communication that would allocate a specific broadband spectrum to public safety, designating this bandwidth for law enforcement use - and finally creating the truly interoperable communications network that law enforcement and emergency responders have needed for decades.

    We understand that Congress may take action on this important legislation prior to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Nothing could be more appropriate than marking this solemn anniversary by making a genuine commitment to public safety communication, for this and future generations."

  • August 26th, 2011 | Endorsements

    National Association of Attorneys General

    The 112th Congress is considering the passage of several bills on D-Block wireless communication that would allocate a specific broadband spectrum to public safety, designating this bandwidth for law enforcement use - and finally creating the truly interoperable communications network that law enforcement and emergency responders have needed for decades. We understand that Congress may take action on this important legislation prior to the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. Nothing could be more appropriate than marking this solemn anniversary by making a genuine commitment to public safety communication, for this and future generations.

  • August 24th, 2011 | Fox News: Judson Berger | News Clippings

    Quake Exposes Post-9/11 Cracks in Cellphone Coverage, Emergency Response

    The constipated wireless networks in the D.C. region and beyond were a glaring example of how the country has failed to correct the shortcomings in emergency communication 10 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

  • August 23rd, 2011 | Reuters | News Clippings

    US quake bolsters calls for public safety wireless network

    Disruption of cell phone service by a rare U.S. East Coast earthquake Tuesday prompted renewed calls for Congress and regulators to provide a dedicated wireless network for emergency workers.

  • August 23rd, 2011 | Politico | News Clippings

    East coast earthquake proves point, public safety group says Read more: http://www.politico.com/new

    The 5.8-magnitude earthquake that overwhelmed cellphone networks for several hours Tuesday has a group representing police officers and firefighters calling on Washington to move faster on a nationwide data network for first responders.

  • August 19th, 2011 | AOL Government | News Clippings

    Tom Ridge: Congress Has ‘Failed’ 9/11 First Responders In Wireless Communications Battle

    The nation's first Secretary of Homeland Security said Congress has "failed" America's first responders by not acting on legislation that would dedicate wireless communications spectrum to a nationwide, interoperable, public safety network and said it is unlikely anything will pass before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

  • August 17th, 2011 | NY1 News | News Clippings

    Officials Renew Push For Emergency Broadband Network

    As the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks approaches, another push is underway to improve communications between emergency workers.

  • August 1st, 2011 | U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation | News Clippings

    Rockefeller More Committed Than Ever to Public Safety Network Plan

    Chairman RockefellerChairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV issued the following statement after provisions to authorize the Federal Communications Commission to conduct voluntary incentive auctions and create a public safety communications network for first responders were dropped from a final debt relief deal:

    “I am disappointed that the House failed to make communications safer and more reliable for first responders. We had hoped that a version of our legislation would have been in the deficit package this week. Despite that setback, I will continue to fight to make sure that by the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we have this bill signed into law.”

  • July 21st, 2011 | News Clippings

    Rockefeller, Gillibrand, Schumer, King Stand with 9/11 First Responders to Urge Passage of S. 911

    With first responders across the country operating on different radio frequencies and unable to share critical information in real time, U.S. Senators John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) today stood with John Feal and 9/11 first responders to make a bipartisan push for Congress to pass the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act before the upcoming tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

  • July 14th, 2011 | National Public Radio (NPR) | News Clippings

    Many First Responders Still Struggle To Communicate

    After Sept. 11, there were widespread reports that public safety agencies responding to the attacks on the World Trade Center had trouble talking to one another. The problem: incompatible radios.

  • June 18th, 2011 | News Clippings

    White House Public Safety Broadband Meeting

    Vice President Biden speaks about the importance of creating a national public safety broadband network at a meeting with first responders, public safety advocates and Administration officials.

    The limitations of current public safety communications systems became tragically apparent on 9/11 and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. [1] In those critical moments, law enforcement, firefighters, and other public safety officers could not talk to each other, putting the lives and mission of our first responders at risk. Almost ten years after 9/11, our system of public safety communications remains outdated, both from a performance and cost-effectiveness standpoint. Traditional public safety devices and networks trail well behind those provided by modern commercial cellular operators. Consequently, public safety is unable to take advantage of the sorts of innovative applications that many teenagers now take for granted.

    Click HERE to read the full report announced today by Vice President Biden on how The President’s Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative can facilitate the transition to a next generation, interoperable system.

  • June 8th, 2011 | News Clippings

    SENATORS McCAIN AND LIEBERMAN APPLAUD PASSAGE OF THE SPECTRUM ACT

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement commending Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison on passage S. 911, the SPECTRUM Act:

    “As the original authors of legislation to provide the D Block to public safety users, Senator Lieberman and I are grateful that the Senate Commerce Committee once again marked up and passed out of committee legislation committing spectrum to first responders. We particularly appreciate the hard work of Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Hutchison. We hope that Majority Leader Reid will bring S. 911 to the floor swiftly to honor the many lives that were lost on 9/11 due to the inability of first responders to communicate with each other and thereby respond to the terrible tragedy that day.”

  • June 7th, 2011 | News Clippings

    Mayor Bloomberg’s Letter of Support for S. 911

    In the aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, Americans came to understand that a commitment to comprehensive improvement in our system of emergency communications is an essential element of our national security. New York City has worked tirelessly to make interoperability of emergency communications a reality, and we have made significant progress on that goal, but our efforts are necessarily limited to a local level. As we approach the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we can no longer afford to leave this issue—one of the key areas of focus of the 9/11 Commission—unaddressed. Legislation setting aside a dedicated portion of the 700 MHz spectrum for public safety officials for a nationwide interoperable network—known as the D Block—must be passed immediately to aid first responders across the country and at every level in saving countless lives and ensuring homeland security.

  • June 4th, 2011 | News Clippings

    Senate Commerce Committee To Mark Up S. 911

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announces an executive session scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in 253 Russell Senate Office Building

  • May 31st, 2011 | Endorsements

    Oregon Fire Chiefs Association

  • May 31st, 2011 | Endorsements

    Paul De Young, retired Fire Chief City of Hialeah and Broward County Florida

  • May 24th, 2011 | News Clippings

    Rockefeller: First Responders Need High-Speed Network

    Four months from now, our nation will mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We will mourn the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters lost on that terrible September day.

  • May 23rd, 2011 | News Clippings

    Chilling Echoes From Sept. 11

    As the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania draws near, one of the main recommendations of the 9/11 Commission remains unfulfilled: the creation of a common communications system that lets emergency responders talk to one another across jurisdictions.

  • May 19th, 2011 | News Clippings

    LIEBERMAN, McCAIN INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO DEDICATE BANDWIDTH TO FIRST RESPONDERS

    Bill Would Create Nationwide Communications Network for Public Safety

    Washington, D.C. - Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Committee Member John McCain (R-AZ) today moved to fulfill a remaining 9/11 commission recommendation by introducing legislation to dedicate bandwidth on the broadband spectrum for first responders.

  • May 13th, 2011 | News Clippings

    FCC is 100% behind allocating spectrum for the public safety

    Rockefeller said he has assurances from the FCC that it is 100% behind allocating spectrum for the public safety network rather than auctioning it for a public-private partnership, as was the FCC's initial proposal in the National Broadband Plan.

  • April 8th, 2011 | Endorsements

    Congressional Fire Services Institute support legislation to allocate the D Block to public safety

    Congressional Fire Services Institute support legislation to allocate the D Block to public safety and provide federal funding resources for build out as well as operation and maintenance costs to create a nationwide public safety wireless interoperable broadband network.

  • March 15th, 2011 | Endorsements

    CALAMP Wireless Networks Supports the Allocation of the D Block to Public Safety

    Calamp involvement in the process of 700MHz planning and D Block allocation spans several years now and we support the allocation of the D Block to public safety and the establishment of a regulatory process and structure to construct a nationwide, interoperable mobile wireless broadband network. The move will improve our nation’s homeland security and provide first responders with new voice, video and data communications technologies that are urgently needed.

  • March 11th, 2011 | Endorsements

    The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council supports fully allocating D Block to Public Safety

    The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) strongly supports fully allocating 20 MHz of contiguous spectrum from the 700MHz D Block to public safety so that police, fire, and emergency personnel possess the dedicated spectrum necessary to build and operate a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network. SBE Council urges Congress to take action to ensure that public safety is allocated 20 MHz of contiguous spectrum to build a state of the art wireless broadband network capable of handling the unique bandwidth needs of public safety personnel.

  • March 1st, 2011 | Endorsements

    Wichita Falls Texas Fire Department

  • February 18th, 2011 | Endorsements

    Governor Jindal Supports Allocation of the D Block Spectrum to Public Safety

    Dear Senators Rockefeller and Hutchinson,

    I want to take this opportunity to support the reallocation of the 700 MHz D block spectrum for public safety. This would address the frequency inadequacies currently inhibiting the build-out and operation of public safety 700 MHz radio systems.

  • February 3rd, 2011 | Endorsements

    Advanced Response Concepts Corporation (ARCC) supports the allocation of the D Block to public safey

    Advanced Response Concepts Corporation (ARCC) supports the allocation of the D Block to public safety and the establishment of a regulatory process and structure to construct a nationwide, interoperable mobile wireless broadband network to improve our nation’s homeland security and provide first responders with new voice, video, and data communications technologies that are urgently needed. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John “Jay” Rockefeller, IV of West Virginia recently introduced legislation, S. 28: The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2010, which provides the basis for implementing this unmet 9/11 Commission recommendation.

  • February 2nd, 2011 | Endorsements

    Digital Decision Supports D Block Allocation to Public Safety

  • January 28th, 2011 | Thomson Reuters | News Clippings

    White House eyes spectrum for public safety

    (Reuters) - The White House will support legislation ensuring a block of airwaves are used for public safety rather than going to commercial wireless providers, a senior administration official said on Thursday.

  • January 26th, 2011 | Endorsements

    IAFC Progress for Public Safety Broadband Network

    Fairfax, Va., January 25, 2011... Today, actions in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demonstrated progress in the effort to develop a nationwide, public safety broadband network. This morning, Senator John D. Rockefeller, IV (D-WV), the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, introduced S. 28, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act. This legislation, which Senator Rockefeller originally introduced last year, would allocate the D Block in the 700 MHz band of spectrum to public safety to develop a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network. The bill also would allocate $11 billion for the construction, maintenance, and operation of the network. The IAFC supports this legislation.

  • January 26th, 2011 | Endorsements

    POLICE CHIEFS SUPPORT PUBLIC SAFETY SPECTRUM AND WIRELESS INNOVATION ACT

    Alexandria, VA --The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) today joins the Public Safety Alliance in announcing its strong support for the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act. This legislation, to be introduced by Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), would provide law enforcement and other public safety agencies with an additional 10 megahertz of spectrum that is necessary to support a national, interoperable, wireless broadband network that will help them fulfill their mission of protecting lives in communities throughout the United States./uploads/documents/IACP_S28.pdf

  • January 26th, 2011 | Endorsements

    THE NATIONAL SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION APPLAUDS THE RE-INTRODUCTION OF CRITICAL D BLOCK LEGISLATION

    Alexandria, Va. – Today, the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) joins with the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) (of which NSA is a member) and multiple other public safety organizations to applaud Senator John D. Rockefeller (D-WV) on the re-introduction of the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011 (S. 28).

  • November 30th, 2010 | Endorsements

    InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability (IAB) Support PSA

    The state and local first responders of the InterAgency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability (IAB) formally support the efforts of the Public Safety Alliance to secure the allocation of the 700 MHz “D” Block spectrum for public safety use.

  • November 13th, 2010 | Endorsements

    New York State Association of Counties Supports D Block Spectrum Allocation to Public Safety

  • October 28th, 2010 | Endorsements

    Communications Workers of America (CWA) supports S.3756

    The Communications Workers of America (CWA) supports S.3756, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act. CWA represents 700,000 workers in communications, media, airlines, manufacturing and public service, including 16,000 public safety employees.

  • October 26th, 2010 | News Clippings

    Attorney General Holder Speaks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference

    We’ve facilitated a series of discussions concerning the public safety broadband network, including the future of the D-Block. And, in partnership with the White House and the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce, we’re continuing to bring together leaders from law enforcement, the broader public safety community, and industry, to determine a path forward. This is a Cabinet-level priority. It is a Justice Department priority. And I will continue to advocate for meaningful, affordable access to radio spectrum when and where you need it. This continues to be a personal priority for me.

  • October 20th, 2010 | National Journal Group Inc, By Eliza Krigman | News Clippings

    White House: No Position on D Block

    Phil Weiser, a senior White House aide for technology and innovation, said Wednesday that the Obama administration has not taken a position on whether a valuable and controversial band of airwaves, known as the D block, should be auctioned for commercial use or handed over to public safety officials.

  • October 15th, 2010 | Endorsements

    L.R. Kimball Supports Reallocating the D Block to Public Safety

    The firm believes allocating the D block for public safety will assure that first responders are positioned to take advantage of future advanced technologies and applications.

  • September 23rd, 2010 | News Clippings

    Keeping Us Safe: The Need for a Nationwide Public Safety Network

    The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held the following full committee hearing titled Keeping Us Safe: The Need for a Nationwide Public Safety Network.

  • September 1st, 2010 | PoliceOne.com | News Clippings

    The D-Block, public safety, and a tipping point

    Have we finally reached a meaningful moment in the movement toward reallocation of the 700 MHz D-Block to public safety?

    In recent weeks there has been increasing chatter on the concept of allocating to public safety the 10 MHz D-Block of 700 MHz spectrum, a topic covered in this space on numerous occasions. As has been previously reported, the FCC doesn’t have the authority to simply reallocate the D-Block to public safety — that would take an act of Congress — and the FCC has continued to move forward with its original mandate to auction off that swath of spectrum despite the miserable failure the first such auction proved to be. Well, an act of Congress — specifically the First Responders Protection Act of 2010 (S. 3625) — may be exactly what the FCC might soon get.

  • July 28th, 2010 | News Clippings

    Does the National Broadband Plan Meet the Needs of First Responders

    House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Communications, Preparedness, and Response held a hearing to investigate if the FCC's National Broadband Plan meets the needs of first responders. Witnesses for the hearing included RADM James Arden Barnett, Jr. (Ret.), Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Federal Communications Commission; Mr. Greg Schaffer, Assistant Secretary, Office of Cyber Security and Communications, Department of Homeland Security; Chief Jeff Johnson, President and Chairman of the Board, International Association of Fire Chiefs; Deputy Chief Charles F. Dowd, Communications Division, New York City Police Department; Mr. Robert A. LeGrande, II, Founder, The Digital Decision, LLC; and Mr. Eric Graham, Rural Cellular Association, Vice President for Strategic Government Relations, Cellular South, Inc.

  • July 22nd, 2010 | Endorsements

    New York, Nevada, Oregon, Iowa, Illinois & Maryland Gov Support D Block Allocation To Public Safety

  • July 21st, 2010 | News Clippings

    Chairman Rockefeller Will Introduce the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act

    Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, released the following statement regarding his plans to introduce the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act.

    “The Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act will also provide public safety with an additional 10 megahertz of spectrum to support a national, interoperable wireless broadband network that will help protect people and keep them from harm. This spectrum allocation will provide those who wear the shield with the resources they need to do their jobs. But more than that, by providing authority for incentive auctions, this legislation will offer a revenue stream to assist public safety with the construction and development of their network."

  • July 21st, 2010 | News Clippings

    SENATORS McCAIN AND LIEBERMAN MOVE TO OPEN MORE SPECTRUM TO FIRST RESPONDERS

    U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) today introduced legislation to provide first responders with more broadband spectrum to help them build a 21st century interoperable communications network.

  • July 21st, 2010 | News Clippings

    Insiders Debate FCC Proposal for First Responders

    This week on the Communicators, two industry insiders react to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to make more bandwidth available for an emergency communications network. Dick Mirgon of the Association for Public Safety Communications Officials explains his organization’s criticism of the FCC's approach. Ed Thomas, former chief engineer for the FCC, gives his reasons for endorsing the plan.

  • July 15th, 2010 | News Clippings

    Inefficiency or responsible emergency planning? The ongoing D-Block issue…

    The strong opponents of the public auction for the D-Block argue that more spectrum (20 MHz) is needed just to be sure there is enough given the uncertainties in the build out including funding limitation.

  • July 6th, 2010 | News Clippings

    A Slice of Broadband for Public Safety

    The Kojo Nnamdi Show

    Nine years after 9/11, police and fire departments are at odds with the FCC over how to achieve nationwide "interoperability": build a public safety broadband network or piggyback on commercial carriers to talk in an emergency.

  • July 5th, 2010 | News Clippings

    Broadband Spectrum the Topic of White House and Congressional Interest

    Congress and the White House are considering how to respond to the call by the public safety community for guaranteed access to additional spectrum and funding to build a broadband emergency communications network.

  • June 29th, 2010 | News Clippings

    King Statement on White House Broadband Announcement

    Today, U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s “Presidential Memorandum” on broadband communications: “While I am pleased to see that the Presidential Memorandum acknowledged the need for funding for a public safety wireless communications network, I was disappointed not to see a White House endorsement for any additional spectrum to specifically be allocated for public safety."

  • June 25th, 2010 | Endorsements

    National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives

    The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive (NOBLE) supports the reallocation of the D Block to public safety and the establishment of regulatory process and structure to construct a national interoperable mobile wireless broadband network that will improve our nation’s homeland security and provide first responders with new voice, video, and data communications technologies that are urgently needed.

  • June 25th, 2010 | Endorsements

    Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Provider Agencies Join Letter to House and Senate

    The universal availability of secure, reliable, priority access and public safety grade broadband communications is critical to the advancement of emergency medical care for patients in the United States. The best way to assure this availability is to allocate the 700 MHz D block to public safety for use in conjunction with the 700 MHz broadband spectrum licensed to the national public safety broadband license holder and to coordinate both sets of spectrum through that license holder and its public safety representative board. This availability will not be served by trying to hold another commercial auction of the 700 MHz D block.

  • June 24th, 2010 | Urgent Communications | News Clippings

    Public Safety Alliance supports funding portion of draft legislation

    A coalition of first-responder organizations today expressed support for most funding mechanisms included in draft legislation, except for the notion of auctioning the 700 MHz D Block, which the group wants Congress to reallocate for a proposed nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety.

  • June 15th, 2010 | The Hill | News Clippings

    Waxman legislation funds public safety network via D-Block auction

    Draft legislation released this week by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) would auction off some of the nation's limited airwaves to build an $11 billion nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network.

    A similar plan was proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the National Broadband Plan the agency released in March. Public safety organizations have opposed this plan because they want the "D-Block" chunk of spectrum to be allocated directly to first responders, rather than auctioned off for commercial use. The House Energy and Commerce communications subpanel has a Thursday hearing scheduled on the bill.

    House Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas) says the draft "still needs substantial work," but supported the effort to use D-Block proceeds for a safety network. "As 15 of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle and I said in a June 2007 letter, this is the most realistic option for making [a public safety network] a reality." The Public Safety Alliance, a coalition of safety associations, launched a public relations campaign earlier this month to stop the proposed D-Block auction, contending that the plan is "technically, competitively and operationally flawed."

    Meanwhile, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, has introduced legislation to stop the auction. King has 20 co-sponsors and is seeking a way to bring companion legislation to the Senate.

    Calling the D-Block "ideal" for a public safety network, King said such a network is needed during "large-scale emergencies, such as a terrorist attack."

    Opposing a D-Block auction, New York Police Department Deputy Chief Charles Dowd said that sudden emergencies can cause commercial networks to become overloaded when hundreds of police and firemen within a small radius get on their radios at once. "And I get yelled at by the command staff that they can't pick up their cell phone calls," he said.

    He also cited interoperability as a concern, noting that when New York City's police officers traveled south to assist in efforts during Hurricane Katrina, they had to bring radios to pass out to officers all over the area to streamline communication.

    "You don't want to be in that situation," he said. "You want to be in a situation where your device works on whatever network you're on."

  • June 9th, 2010 | Urgent Communications | News Clippings

    Public safety will need more spectrum, now or late

    The mantra in the commercial mobile industry these days is: Give users more bandwidth, and they'll continually find more ways to use it and drive up capacity limits &mdash especially with the popularity of video services. Hence, the Federal Communications Commission is scrambling to find more spectrum for this broadband revolution.

    Perhaps the commission, or at least FCC Chief Technologist Jon Peha, doesn't believe the same trend will happen in the public-safety sector. Peha said last week on a panel that the 10 MHz public safety already has in the 700 MHz band, coupled with roaming agreements with commercial operators, will offer enough spectrum to fill its communications needs during even major incidents.

    He must not believe that application developers or other third parties are going to court the public-safety community with innovative applications largely centered on video. Just like mobile applications and services are catching on in the enterprise, it's not difficult to believe public safety continually will find more ways to increase safety and productivity using LTE services. Bring hospitals and utilities in the mix, and usage will jump significantly.

    T-Mobile's Kathleen Ham said during the same panel, which was sponsored by the New America Foundation, that public-safety officials should "expand their horizons" beyond the D Block debate by looking at other spectrum opportunities already in the hands of public safety: namely the 800 MHz band, the 400 MHz band or the 4.9 GHz band — all of which would bring separate headaches because of incumbency issues and economics. But that is a position that is expected from an operator like T-Mobile that doesn't have the spectrum to deploy LTE. It would love to get its hands on D Block spectrum that doesn't have public-safety strings attached.

    Unfortunately, time is running short for public safety. The FCC wants to auction D Block spectrum early next year to commercial operators that, in turn, could allow public safety to use the spectrum via roaming agreements. This week a group of public-safety organizations formalized a partnership — called the Public Safety Alliance — that will campaign to convince Congress to re-allocate the D-block spectrum directly to public safety. Some Beltway insiders believe it has to convince Congress before this fall’s elections, if the FCC’s current auction timetable remains in place.

    If it isn't successful, public safety may just have to look for creative ways to find more LTE spectrum. Perhaps public-safety entities can strike a deal with WiMAX operator Clearwire, which is sitting on a vast amount of spectrum nationwide and has more than hinted that it wants to deploy the Time Division Duplex (TDD) version of LTE in the 2.6 GHz band. The operator's entire strategy is signing on wholesale customers like Sprint, Comcast and Time Warner.

    But in the end, the FCC shouldn't be surprised when public safety once again comes pounding on the federal door for more spectrum.

  • April 20th, 2010 | Endorsements

    National Association of Police Organizations

    On behalf of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), representing 241,000 rank-and-file law enforcement officers from across the United States, I am writing to request that the Federal Communications Commission’s recommendation in the National Broadband Plan (NBP) be amended so that the 700 MHz D Block is reallocated to public safety. This is necessary to ensure that our local, state and federal first responders have unrestricted access to a nationwide broadband network that will allow them to effectively respond to critical events.

  • April 16th, 2010 | Urgent Communications | News Clippings

    Government organizations seek D Block for public safety

    Seven state and local government organizations yesterday asked Congress to reallocate the 700 MHz D Block for the proposed nationwide broadband network for first responders.

  • April 14th, 2010 | National Governors Association | Endorsements

    Joint Letter from NGA and other groups to House Commerce Committee 4/14/10

    As national organizations representing state and local government officials, we request that you oppose a commercial auction of the 700 MHz D block and support legislation to reallocate the D block of spectrum to public safety. The utilization of broadband technology is crucial to the future of public safety and will enhance the ability to save lives by quickly sharing information with first responders, public institutions and private citizens.

  • April 12th, 2010 | NCJA | Endorsements

    Commerce Committees Letter on D Block Spectrum

    I write on behalf of the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA), whose members are the state, territorial and tribal administrators of federal justice assistance programs, as well as practitioners from across the justice system.

  • April 9th, 2010 | Endorsements

    NGA letter of 4/9/10 from O’Malley and Pawlenty to FCC

    On behalf of the nation’s governors and first responders, we request that the Federal Communications Commission’s recommendation in the National Broadband Plan be amended so that the 700 MHz D block is reallocated to public safety.

  • April 8th, 2010 | APCO News | Endorsements

    Public Safety Consensus Group and Government Organizations Outline Effort to Build National Network

    The Public Safety Consensus Group met last week with representatives of several of the major national associations representing state and local government to discuss the effort to build a national interoperable broadband public safety network. Many of these organizations have expressed their support for allocation of the D Block spectrum to public safety.

  • April 7th, 2010 | FOX News | News Clippings

    Obama Administration Eyes New Taxes, Fees for National Broadband Network

    A massive national broadband plan the Federal Communications Commission released last month proposes creating a national framework for the taxation of digital goods and services and imposing a fee to establish and maintain a national public safety wireless broadband network.

  • April 6th, 2010 | Computer World | News Clippings

    Opinions vary on public safety fee

    Reactions to a proposed public safety fee on every broadband user in America vary, from support by the Consumer Federation of America to opposition by another consumer group, Free Press.

  • March 29th, 2010 | Wireless Week | News Clippings

    Critics Blast FCC’s Public Safety Plan

    For years, the nation’s emergency officers have been plagued by the lack of interoperability between their networks, which are scattered across several different frequency bands.

  • March 19th, 2010 | Fire Chief | News Clippings

    Avoiding the Federal Stalemate

    Instead of waiting for the FCC to sort out the national broadband network stalemate, states are starting to take matters into their own hands. In fact, Oregon’s State Interoperability Executive Council (SEIC) just this month prepared a waiver request that seeks the FCC’s permission to build out its own public-safety broadband wireless network.

  • March 12th, 2010 | Emergency Management | News Clippings

    D-Block Dilemma: Will the FCC Waive the Auction Requirement?

    Thanks to effective marketing efforts, many people undoubtedly believe that the reason the country’s digital transition took place last year was so that government could ensure a better TV-viewing experience. The reality, of course, isn’t so altruistic.

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