Last updated: August 3, 2008 - 2:05pm
Here's the message from the public safety community to the Federal Communications Commission: Drop the vain attempt to auction off the so-called 700MHz "D Block" to one national licensee and allow public safety agencies to access the spectrum and build their systems on a regional basis instead. "There is nothing wrong, per se, with the goal of nationwide interoperability," argued James Farmer, former counsel to the 9/11 Commission as well as former New Jersey Attorney General. "The way that emergencies actually happen, however, suggests that the best way to achieve interoperability nationwide is by first building it locally and regionally, and then interconnecting the regional interoperable networks." The head of New York City's Communications Division put it more plainly. "The Commission should not re-auction the 'D' Block spectrum," Charles Dowd said, "and should appeal to Congress to permit the allocation of this spectrum immediately to public safety."