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WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 30, 1011 – The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) today welcomed House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden’s (R - OR5) latest discussion draft language on spectrum allocation, which was released yesterday ahead of a scheduled mark-up of spectrum legislation on Thursday, December 1st at 10am.

“We greatly appreciate the efforts of Chairman Walden to move legislation forward in the committee of jurisdiction,” said PSA spokesman Chris Moore, Chief of Police for the San Jose, CA Police Department, “The Public Safety Alliance is encouraged by Chairman Walden’s movement toward developing a workable solution to this critical, time-sensitive issue, and one that includes D block allocation and funding for the Public Safety Broadband Network.”

“This is a complex and critical issue and we look forward to working with Chairman Walden on the concerns that still must be addressed among the various bills,” said Chief Greg Frederick of the Louisville, Kentucky Fire Department, and PSA Representative for the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, “Over the past year, Chairman Walden and his staff have studied this matter in great length, have conducted several hearings, numerous meetings and have come to the conclusion that allocation of the D block to public safety and commitment of significant funding for the Public Safety Broadband Network is both a necessary and prudent nationwide investment. This is now undisputed both inside and outside of Congress among all major stakeholders including technologists, state and local governments, the Obama Administration, industry, the House and Senate committee leadership, and public safety.”

“We are committed to working with Chairman Walden and his colleagues to build upon this major breakthrough, including helping to create a governance model in the JOBS Act of 2011 that emphasizes the need to assure there is majority representation and oversight on the Board by public safety and state and local governments to any federally created entity to ensure maximum input, control and flexibility, consistent with nationwide standards, in constructing and running their local communications systems and operations.”

APCO’s past president and PSA representative Dick Mirgon concluded, “We support provisions that speak to Next Generation 9-1-1, which is another area of seeming House committee consensus along with the public safety broadband spectrum allocation and funding provisions, but our members are concerned about the proposed provision as it relates to the draft on 700 MHz narrowband spectrum, as more than 11,000 state and local licensees will be directly impacted because traditional Land Mobile Radio (LMR) spectrum channels are currently beyond capacity in many of the major metropolitan areas and there is no other spectrum that can support mission critical voice communications in these areas. There has been significant financial investment made in this 14 MHz of spectrum and it is important that this spectrum continue to remain available to public safety until the FCC certifies that D block can support mission critical communications.”

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