House Democrats introduce public safety broadband bill

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“The proposal considered by the House today falls short of what is needed,” Johnson said. “Any legislation to create a public safety broadband network should include responsible research and development provisions. The failure to include such provisions puts the success of the entire public safety broadband network at risk.”

NIST would be authorized to research and help develop technologies that would improve the safety of the public safety network, document the operational requirements and help develop national, voluntary standards addressing those requirements.

“The creation of a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network, as recommended by the 9/11 Commission, is long overdue,” Edwards said. “It is important that we move forward in earnest, but we must ensure that broadband technologies are developed to work seamlessly with and meet the needs of our first responders.”

Walden, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology, said Tuesday on the chamber floor: “This legislation didnt just drop out of the sky. It was thoughtfully and creatively crafted and it finds the right balances.” Walden cited five separate public hearings and 11 months of negotiations between both parties, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“But at some point the American people say, ‘Stop talking, get it done.

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has also approved a bill authorizing spectrum auctions and re-allocating the D Block, but it has yet to come up for a vote on the floor.

— This story was updated at 1:46 p.m.