Government Accountability Office: Required Auction of Public Safety Spectrum Could Harm First Responder Capabilities

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  • Published: 06/25/2019 12:00 AM

In 11 large metropolitan areas, critical communications for police, firefighters, and others take place in the T-Band part of the radio spectrum. For example, the NYPD dispatches 911 calls via the T-Band. Starting in 2021, public safety T-Band will be auctioned as required by law. Public safety organizations must move their communications to another part of the spectrum within 2 years of the auction's end. In 3 of the 4 metropolitan areas we examined, officials said they haven't found a T-Band alternative. A recent FCC study also found few options. We recommended Congress consider allowing public safety organizations to keep using the T-Band.


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