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Contact: Yucel Ors



Phoenix Center Finds D Block Allocation To Public Safety Is Best Approach

March 1, 2011, Alexandria, Va. – A new economic study released today by former FCC staff and leading telecommunications academics finds that assigning the D block to public safety, as opposed to subjecting it to a commercial auction, provides the nation with at least $3.4 billion more in social benefit. Furthermore, the study concludes that the allocation of D block to public safety will help contribute to deficit reduction. As the Phoenix Center explains, much of the reduction is attributable to the unique opportunity to create a contiguous 20 MHz block of prime spectrum for use by public safety, and that this opportunity exists only for the public safety community.

“Our analysis suggests that the D Block is more valuable in the hands of public safety, and by a wide margin. Moreover, allocation of the D Block to public safety shrinks the deficit by more than an auction, since an auction today considerably reduces future auction revenues and substantially increases the deployment cost of the public safety network, which must be funded by government expenditures”, stated the Phoenix Center’s Chief Economist Dr. George S. Ford upon releasing the study.

Phoenix Center President and study co-author Lawrence J. Spiwak added, "As D Block represents a very unique opportunity to provide the public safety community with a contiguous block of high-quality spectrum -- and, in so doing, substantially reducing the costs of deploying a robust network -- giving the D Block to public safety is economically rational."

“This study comes on the heels of an extensive, government-wide analysis conducted by the Obama Administration over the past six months, which also concluded -- as we have contended all along -- that Congress should expeditiously act to allocate D block to public safety and provide the much needed upfront capital investment to finally enable the build out of a nationwide, interoperable and mission-critical grade public safety broadband network,” said Dick Mirgon, Past President of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International.

Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller, IV, as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, has reintroduced legislation, S.28; The Public Safety Wireless and Innovation Act of 2011, which would allocate D block and provide substantial federal funding through other auction proceeds to help finance network build out.

“The PSA calls on all U.S. Senators to support and co-sponsor this critical legislation,”

urged San Jose Police Chief Christopher Moore, “Similar legislation, H.R. 607; Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011, has been reintroduced in the House by Congressman Peter King, as Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and by Ranking Member Bennie Thompson, which again, we ask our Representatives to support and co-sponsor now.”


About Public Safety Alliance

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. For more information, visit

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