Call to Action – Critical D Block Vote on Tuesday
Published: 9/29/2011
Author: The International Association of Fire Chiefs

On October 4, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is expected to consider spectrum legislation.  This legislation will set up the governance body and authorize some funding to establish a wireless broadband network for public safety.  Unfortunately, this bill -- in its current form -- will not allocate the 10 MHz of the D Block to public safety, so public safety will not have the spectrum that we need to build an effective network.

An amendment will be offered to fix this bill and allocate the D Block to public safety.  We need the IAFC members to contact the following Representatives on the House Energy and Commerce Committee:

Mary Bono Mack (R-CA): 202-225-5330

Brian Bilbray (R-CA): 202-225-0508

Phil Gingrey (R-GA): 202-225-2931

Brett Guthrie (R-KY): 202-225-3501

Adam Kinzinger (R-IL): 202-225-3635

Steve Scalise (R-LA):  202-225-3015

Mike Rogers (R-MI): 202-225-4872

Charlie Bass (R-NH): 202-225-5206

Bob Latta (R-OH): 202-225-6405

Please urge these members to:

1)  Vote to pass the amendment to allocate the D Block to public safety.

2)  Oppose the final passage of the bill, if it does not allocate the D Block to public safety.

Be sure to point out the following facts:

·         The establishment of a public safety wireless broadband network will revolutionize emergency operations by providing real-time video and data.

·         The recent natural disasters demonstrated the need for public safety to have its own broadband network for communications, because the commercial networks continue to crash due to the high volumes of traffic during mass emergency situations.

·         To run an effective network, public safety needs 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHZ band.  

·         Currently, public safety has 10 MHz, and the 10 MHz of the D Block is adjacent to the spectrum currently licensed to public safety.

·         Please ask the staffer for a response about how the Representative voted.

Tuesday’s mark-up may be the only chance that public safety has to have a House vote on allocating the D Block to public safety!  So, we really need everyone’s help to ensure the effectiveness of future public safety communications!

For further information, please contact Ken LaSala or Alan Caldwell with the IAFC’s Government Relations and Policy Department at 703-273-0911.

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