WAXMAN, ESHOO DISCUSSION DRAFT ALLOCATES D BLOCK;
BUILDS UPON BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL SUPPORT FOR PUBLIC SAFETY BROADBAND
WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 14, 2011 – The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) today expressed its encouragement for draft discussion language circulated by House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry Waxman and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Ranking Member Anna Eshoo, which would allocate the D block to public safety, assure strong governance of the public safety broadband network and provide significant federal funding to expedite the build out and sustainment of a nationwide, interoperable and mission-critical public safety broadband network. The release of the draft bill comes a day before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Communications and Technology, and it would serve as a very complimentary companion bill to S.911: the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act of 2011, which recently passed the Senate Commerce Committee on an overwhelming, bipartisan vote of 21-4. S.911 currently awaits Senate floor consideration.
“After conducting a series of hearings on this top priority public safety issue over the past few months, and following years of increasingly substantive discussions and debate, the Public Safety Alliance is heartened by Congressman Waxman and Congresswoman Eshoo’s leadership in circulating this draft bill,” stated Story County, Iowa Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald, President of the National Sheriffs Association and a leading member of the PSA. “We look forward to the bill’s introduction and swift movement by the committee and the House leadership.”
Nearly 10 years ago, police, firefighters and EMS workers lost their lives because of inadequate public safety communications networks during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In March, the chairmen of the 9/11 Commission reiterated their support for providing public safety more spectrum to help solve interoperability problems as a key 9/11 Commission Report recommendation, and announced their specific support for allocating the D Block spectrum to public safety this year ahead of the 10th Anniversary.
“The public safety community is grateful to all of the Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee for their continued priority focus and commitment to working with us to secure the spectrum, funding, governance and other resources necessary to provide our first responders with the tools needed to protect our citizens each and every day, as well as during major incidents and emergencies,” said Dick Mirgon, Immediate Past President of APCO International. “We know that we are all united on finding a solution that works and Congressman Waxman’s and Eshoo’s legislation continues to move us in the right direction to attain it this year.”