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JULY 7, 2010



Technologists, Probation and Parole Add Their Support to Public Safety Alliance

Washington, D.C. - (July 7, 2010) -- The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) today released a statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) whitepaper The Public Safety Nationwide Interoperable Broadband Network: A New Model for Capacity, Performance and Cost. The PSA statement House of Cards: FCC’s Capacity White Paper Built on Assumptions and Conjecture counters the FCC’s attempts to justify auctioning the D-Block and criticizes, among other things, both the timing of its release and the fact that it was developed without input from public safety practitioners.

"The Commission’s white paper, which should have been completed before the NBP was released, was requested by public safety and industry leaders five months ago,” the PSA statement said. “The paper was developed without meaningful input from the public safety community, and is built on a foundation of assumptions and conjecture.”

In addition, the PSA announced several more national associations formally adding their support for allocation of the 10 MHz of spectrum within the 700-MHz band, commonly referred to as the D Block, to public safety to allow for adequate capacity of 20 MHz in order to build out a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network throughout the U.S.

“The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) 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,” reads the statement signed by NASCIO President Stephen Fletcher. “The ability for public safety to have seamless nationwide roaming capability on a wireless broadband network that is hardened to public safety requirements is achievable and essential for public safety to meet its ever increasing responsibilities.”

The American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) also informed the PSA of its formal support last week, bringing the number of association supporters to 33. In addition, co-sponsorship of H.R. 5081 – Broadband for First Responders Act of 2010, which directs the FCC to allocate the D Block to public safety, reached a new milestone of 37 co-sponsors shortly before Congress went into July 4 recess.

“We appreciate President Obama and his Administration joining with leading Members of Congress this week in presenting a unified commitment of federal funding to enable our local, state, tribal and federal public safety agencies to build and maintain the nationwide infrastructure necessary to support mission-critical broadband communications for both day-to-day operations, to include planned special or yearly events like our uniquely American July 4 celebrations, and small-to-large-scale emergencies and critical incidents,” International Association of Fire Chiefs President and PSA spokesperson Jeff Johnson said. “Still, time is running out for Congress and the Administration to pass and enact into law the legislation necessary to fund the national architecture and infrastructure build out with the full 20 MHz of adequate spectrum for public safety, to include allocation of the D Block. We continue to urge Congress and the Administration to join with the overwhelming majority of our local and state leaders, and first responders, by actively advocating for allocation of the D Block to public safety, and moving to prohibit the FCC from any effort to rush an auction of this critical national asset.”

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