For Immediate Release:
Contact: Yucel Ors
APCO LAUDS CHAIRMAN ROCKEFELLER’S TOP PRIORITY FOR PUBLIC SAFETY;
Senator Hutchison’s Commitment of Bipartisan Cooperation Bodes Wells for Progress
February 17, 2011, Alexandria, Va. – APCO supports remarks made yesterday by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. “Jay” Rockefeller, IV, at a hearing on Capitol Hill to discuss development of a nationwide wireless, mission-critical broadband network for first responders. At the hearing, Senator Rockefeller declared that the issue of allocation of D Block spectrum for public safety and funding to support its build out was the Commerce Committee’s top priority. He pledged his all out effort to work with all parties to pass legislation by the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this year. Chairman Rockefeller asserted, “Far too often we talk about the important role these brave first responders play but fail to give them the tools they need to do their job. I think it is long past time to do something about that.”
“As Senator Rockefeller observed, delays in developing an interoperable broadband network for public safety jeopardizes the well being of every American,” said APCO’s Immediate Past President Richard Mirgon. “Setting aside the D Block spectrum for public safety while also providing for other auctions to pay for network infrastructure is a ‘win-win-win’ for America.”
“We have an opportunity for bipartisan cooperation to help spur wireless innovation, create jobs, reduce the deficit, and most importantly build a much-needed national public safety broadband communications network,” Senator Hutchison said.
In attendance at the hearing were uniformed public safety officials from across the country. Those testifying in support of allocation of the D Block spectrum before the committee included House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-NY), New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, and North Las Vegas, Nevada Fire Chief Al Gillespie.
“Our hats are off to Chairman Rockefeller for his leadership in advancing public safety, and to Senator Hutchison for her resolve to work cooperatively, in a bipartisan fashion, to move D block allocation and provide the funding necessary to build out a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network,” stated APCO President Bill Carrow. “Chairman Rockefeller’s bill, S. 28, the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011, provides a strong basis to resolve this vexing problem that has lingered far too long. The broadband network made possible by this bill will enable First Responders to do their jobs more cost-effectively and provide even greater levels of protection and assistance to our fellow citizens in every town, city and state across America.”