Originally published: April 14, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:38am
The National Governors Association and other state and local officials urged key members of Congress Wednesday to oppose the Federal Communications Commission's efforts to auction off the D-block of spectrum in the 700 megahertz band to commercial bidders and instead pass legislation that would reallocate it for public safety uses.
In a letter to the leaders of the Senate and house Commerce Committees, the local officials say that the FCC's proposal to provide "public safety roaming and priority access on other commercial 700 megahertz networks for a fee" would not ensure that emergency first responders have the "reliable and resilient communications capabilities" they need to meet public safety needs. "The utilization of broadband technology is crucial to the future of public safety and will enhance the ability to save lives by quickly sharing information with first responders, public institutions and private citizens," the letter said. "Allocating the D-block directly to public safety is the only way to ensure a robust, modern and reliable nationwide interoperable network." The letter was signed by the NGA as well as the Council of State Governments, International City/County Management Association, National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.