Key Republican backs reallocation of valuable D Block for public safety use


Source: Hill, The
Author: Sara Jerome
Location:
Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Rep Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) -- the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee's Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee -- has backed devoting a valuable chunk of the airwaves to public safety purposes, a position endorsed by the public safety community. He says the best way to build a mobile broadband network for police and fire fighters is to allocate the valuable D Block of spectrum to this purpose.

That's as opposed to auctioning off the D Block and asking public safety to share the airspace with commercial providers. “Reallocating the D Block would finally provide an opportunity to reduce the cost and complexity of first-responder communications rather than continuing the costly and ineffective need to operate multiple systems to allow firefighters and police officers to communicate with one another,” Chairman Bilirakis said. Others supporting D Block reallocation include the White House, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-NY), and Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).

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