Decade-long first responder network talk lingers on

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there were many calls to establish some kind of dedicated national emergency broadband network that could help first responders to such disasters to better communicate with one another. On that fateful, clogged or damaged networks, as well as mass confusion, led to miscommunication or lack of communication which in some cases cost responders their lives.

As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, one would think such a network would be years old by now, given all the attention--but it still does not exist. The technology is there, in the form of LTE mobile broadband, but prospective D block spectrum allocation to create the network has been tied up by a multitude of factors, including net neutrality concerns, disputes with broadcasters occupying the spectrum, and other issues dominating the Congressional agenda, such as the debt ceiling debacle.

A D block spectrum auction provision was booted from the debt ceiling agreement.

U.S . Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) held a press conference this week at a Staten Island fire station to highlight the need for legislation supporting the creation of the network--legislation she co-sponsored--to move forward. Even if her call is heard, there is unlikely to be an real activity on the measure by the upcoming anniversary.

For more:
- see this NY1 report

Related articles:
Other legislators also have called for D block action
The debt ceiling deal failed to keep auction provisions alive

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