From TV to Public Safety

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Event Details

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Date: Oct 26 2006 - 12:15pm - 1:45pm

The New America Foundation cordially invites you to a lunch policy forum

From TV to Public Safety
Do We Need Incremental or Fundamental Reform in
Public Safety Spectrum and Communications Policy?

featuring

Jon M. Peha, Professor, Electrical Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Morgan O’Brien, CEO, Cyren Call, Co-founder, Nextel

Michael Gottdenker, CEO, Access Spectrum, LLC

David Aylward, Director, COMCARE Emergency Response Alliance

Robert LeGrande, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, District of Columbia Government

moderator
Michael Calabrese
Vice President and Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation

Thursday, October 26th, 2006
12:15 P.M. - 1:45 P.M.
Lunch will be served

New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave., NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC

After watching first responder communications systems fail on 9/11 and after Hurricane Katrina, with tragic results, the vital importance of spectrum management for public safety communications has taken center stage in recent years. Congress recently passed legislation to reallocate 24 MHz of prime spectrum from TV to public safety in 2009, as part of America’s transition from analog to digital television. Currently, this new spectrum is set to be managed under the same assumptions and orthodoxies as current public safety spectrum allocations – in which spectrum and equipment are designated exclusively for public safety; management is highly decentralized, without national or regional coordination; and narrowband voice communication is the principal application.

Is it time to consider fundamental reform in the way new public safety spectrum is managed? In a new paper that will be released at this forum, Jon M. Peha, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, argues that fundamental reform would make it possible to achieve critical goals of interoperability, spectral efficiency, dependability, and security while lowering costs and providing access to more advanced mobile data applications. Peha argues that such reforms could include: moving toward a consistent nationwide network architecture, allowing commercial carriers to operate public safety networks, and making greater use of shared municipal and commercial broadband wireless networks for data applications.

At the forum, alternative proposals for public safety spectrum reform will be debated. Michael Gottdenker, CEO of Access Spectrum, will describe an incremental approach to reorganize newly-allocated public safety bands to promote efficient use of spectrum. Morgan O’Brien, CEO of Cyren Call and co-founder of Nextel, will outline his controversial proposal to use 30 MHz of returned TV band spectrum to build a shared commercial/public safety network. Other panelists, including David Aylward, Director of the COMCARE Alliance, and Robert LeGrande of the Spectrum Coalition for Public Safety, will comment on these proposals and describe alternative approaches to support wireless broadband data applications for first responders. All of these approaches to reform will be contrasted with current plans for the management and use of new public safety spectrum.

To RSVP, please respond to this email ([email protected]). If you have questions about this event, please call or email Naveen Lakshmipathy at (202) 986-2700 or [email protected].

www.spectrumpolicy.org

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