Senator Rockefeller Champions Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act
With the start of the 112th Congress, Senator John D. Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced the reintroduction of the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act.
The bill would allocate 10 megahertz of spectrum, known as the "D-Block" to first responders and public safety officials who require increasingly scarce wireless resources.
The CWA has spoken out in strong support of D-Block legislation, and supports the reintroduction of Senator Rockefeller's bill:
"The legislation is a common sense approach to provide dedicated capacity for the current and future needs of public safety. With advances in technology, public safety has an increasing need to access mission-critical, high-speed data and video networks.
Fire services need real-time access to building blueprints, health-monitoring sensors, and GPS tracking systems. Emergency medical services need access to telemedicine, high-resolution video and patient records. Police need access to streaming video, surveillance networks, and biometric technologies like mobile fingerprint and iris identification. Federal government operations need to access data networks during large-scale incidents to coordinate federal assistance with states and localities."
The bill is not only a common-sense approach to meet the increased technological and wireless demands of first responders — it sets a precedent for smart spectrum policy. The bill will allow the FCC to hold voluntary incentive auctions for bands of wireless airwaves, thereby opening these resources to innovative new commercial uses and promoting the efficient use of out nation's airwaves.
This measure falls in line with Senator Rockefeller's list of goals for the new Congress, which promote high-tech job creation, broadband expansion, and consumer protections both on and off-line. Other measures include broadband deployment and Universal Service Fund reform, which will help bolster the American infrastructure, while cybersecurity and anti-fraud measures will make Internet a safer place for all.
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