Long Past Time For A Dedicated Public Safety Network

The Communications Workers of America is supporting two parallel congressional bills allocating the D-Block wireless spectrum for a dedicated public safety network. On July 11, U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI), together with Gene Green (D-TX), introduced the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act in the House. Dingell's bill parallels the one introduced by Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) in the Senate which also reallocates the 700 MHz spectrum for use by the nation's first responders. Both bills seek to pay for the network through auctions of spectrum that broadcasters voluntarily give up.

"This bill," said Dingell's office, "will establish the framework for the deployment of a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network for public safety. It will also allocate the D-Block to public safety outright and free of charge."

In a July 11, 2011, letter of support, CWA wrote:

"It is long past time to provide dedicated spectrum for a nationwide broadband communications system. In an emergency situation such as September 11 or Hurricane Katrina, public safety cannot depend upon commercial networks. Public safety needs its own dedicated network, built and maintained by network operators with skilled, career employees."

Dingell emphasized that the nation has delayed creating such a public safety network for far too long. "It is disgraceful," he wrote, "that nearly 10 years after 9/11, our country's first responders have neither sufficient spectrum nor a national interoperable network to use in saving American lives."

In addition to CWA, the Public Safety Alliance (PSA), APCO, the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) all publicly support the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act.

Dingell, Green Introduce Public Safety Network Bill

Rockefeller Joined By West Virgina Public Safety Leaders for Approval of New Network Legislation at Commerce Committee

Senate Commerce Committee Approves Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act (Speed Matters)

House Introduces Legislation Promoting D-Block Allocation

Senate Committee Considers Rockefeller D-Block Bill to Create Nationwide Interoperable Public Safety