HR 5081, the Broadband for First Responders Act of 2010, has been introduced in Congress to provide public safety with additional spectrum to support a national, interoperable, wireless broadband network. Without the passage of this legislation, this spectrum, known as D Block, will be auctioned off for use by commercial users. Under current law, the Federal Communications Commission is required to expeditiously re-auction this spectrum. Should this occur, D block will be controlled by commercial carriers which could result in a lack of capacity for multi-agency operations and communication holes for public safety users.
More information on this legislation, including a sample letter to request your congressional representatives’ co-sponsorship and support and talking points, can be found on The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials website. The National Association of Counties is also in support of this legislation and urges you to contact your congressional representatives.