Industry cites TIA study showing PSBN will spur economy, create jobs and dramatically improve Nation’s and first responder safety
PSA Touts Major Private Sector Support for Top Legislative Priority
WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 4, 2011 – Today the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) welcomed the formal support of two major industry associations in calling for Congress to enact legislation to allocate additional spectrum to public safety, consistent with the Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s recently released 9/11 Report Card. Specifically, TechAmerica and the 9-1-1 Industry Alliance (9IA) announced their support for the D block spectrum within the 700 MHz band to be allocated to public safety with sufficient funding and independent governance to enable build out of a nationwide, mission-critical and interoperable public safety broadband network for data, text, streaming video, picture images and other large amounts of critical information for day-to-day to large-scale emergencies throughout the country and on its borders.
In hosting a Congressional staff briefing on D block allocation in September, TechAmerica, whose membership consists of approximately 1,000 technology companies, highlighted the public safety imperative. Kevin Richards, Senior Vice President of Federal Government Relations for TechAmerica, stated, “Allocating the D block bolsters our nation’s public safety capabilities and will create good, well-paying jobs for our industry. But most importantly, allocating the D block will help save lives while fulfilling Congress’s duty to provide our nation’s first responders with the interoperable, state-of-the-art network they truly deserve in the wake of Hurricane Irene, the East Coast earthquake, and the 10th anniversary of 9/11.”
In announcing 9IA’s support, Executive Director George Rice explained, “Many companies have made significant investments in the development of communications technology in recent years in anticipation of this legislation being passed. Public safety is ready. 9IA’s members companies stand ready. The public is ready, and waiting. Congress should enact D block legislation and H.R. 2629 the Next Generation 9-1-1 Enhancement Act of 2011 now.”
PSA spokesman Kevin McGinnis, a Communications Technology Advisor to a five of the nation’s leading emergency medical response associations including the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) added, “We appreciate the support of our industry partners, our nation’s job creators and technology innovators. Coupled with the release of the Telecommunications Industry Association’s (TIA) study, this support shows that it’s not just smart policy from a safety and security perspective, but also as it relates to jobs and the economy. The cost savings that will be realized in more efficient and effective public safety services once this nationwide network is in place is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. They will impact every level of government, and, at the bottom line, the taxpayers. To some in Congress, industry endorsement means more than public safety and state and local governments’ united, top priority call for the D block. This is because the private sector is perceived as having more authority and expertise on jobs creation, innovation, increased competition and other positive economic outcomes that it understands will result by allocating the D block and achieving the capabilities of a nationwide public safety broadband network -- as specifically recommended by the 9/11 Report Card.”
This additional industry support comes as the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology subcommittee reportedly prepares to introduce and mark-up new legislation, after holding five hearings on spectrum policy in the past seven months. The House committee’s counterpart in the Senate, the Senate Commerce Committee, passed legislation, S.911, in June. S.911 currently awaits further action on the Senate floor.
S.911 is just one of seven bills that have been introduced in Congress since January 2011, which allocate the D block to public safety (the other bills are HR607, HR2482, S.28, HR2976, S.1549 and S.1040). All seven bills address public safety’s top priorities - allocating the D block to public safety, providing $7-12 billion in funding to build out the broadband network, establishing the necessary, independent governance to manage the build out, maintenance and operations of the network with sufficient state and local government, public safety and industry representation, and offsetting the deficit by auctioning other spectrum bands through incentive and other auctions. It is possible that the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, or “Super Committee,” could subsume spectrum policy and auction legislation once the House subcommittee introduces and marks up a bill without further vote opportunities directly on the matter in either the House or Senate.
The Public Safety Alliance is a partnership with the nation's leading public safety associations, which includes the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, the National Emergency Management Association and the National Association of State EMS Officials. The partnership is operated as a program of APCO International. To read more, visit http://www.psafirst.org.
About the 9-1-1 Industry Alliance
The 9-1-1 Industry Alliance (9IA) represents the industry voice for the emergency communications field. Established in December 2005 by a group of prominent industry leaders, the Alliance plays an important role as the voice of companies on public policy issues impacting 9-1-1 and the emergency response system. Alliance members believe that industry leaders’ expertise can assist public policymakers and government emergency communications professionals as they address complex choices regarding advanced 9-1-1 alternatives in the years ahead. Find out more at www.911alliance.org.
TechAmerica is the leading voice for the U.S. technology industry, which is the driving force behind productivity growth and jobs creation in the United States and the foundation of the global innovation economy. Representing approximately 1,000 member companies of all sizes from the public and commercial sectors of the economy, it is the industry's largest advocacy organization and is dedicated to helping members' top and bottom lines. TechAmerica was formed by the merger of AeA, ITAA, GEIA, and the Cyber Security Industry Alliance. Find out more at www.TechAmerica.org.