For Immediate Release:
Contact: Yucel Ors
ALLIANCE SUPPORTS PRESIDENT’S $10 BILLION INTEROPERABLE PUBLIC SAFETY BROADBAND INITIATIVE;
PSA Encouraged by Administration’s Call for D Block Allocation & Funding in 2012 Budget
February 14, 2011, Alexandria, Va. –The Public Safety Alliance welcomed formal release of President Obama’s budget request today, and heralded its high level inclusion of funding and mandatory commitment of resources toward establishment of a nationwide, interoperable and mission-critical public safety broadband network. The President’s budget provides over $10 billion of resources in mandatory spending, offset by spectrum auction proceeds, to help build an interoperable network to strengthen economic growth and public safety, while benefitting from commercial innovation. Specifically, the President’s Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative provides $7 billion in funding for building the public safety network, and includes allocation of the “D Block” spectrum within the 700 MHz band for public safety use. The budget also includes a payment of $3.2 billion to offset the funding gap created by taking the D Block off the auction schedule and reallocating it to public safety. This spectrum was previously estimated to fetch that price on the commercial market. Additionally, a Wireless Innovation Fund is created to provide $3 billion of spectrum receipts to help develop and promote cutting-edge wireless technologies to advance public safety, telemedicine, Smart Grid, other broadband capabilities, and to facilitate spectrum relocation.
“Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and their staff, have all worked tirelessly with public safety, first responders, Tribal, state and local government officials, and their technology advisors, to fully evaluate the current situation and come up with the best possible way to ensure the safety and security of all of our citizens and the men and women who protect them day in and day out. The growing consensus among all parties for allocating D block to public safety and providing a significant federal investment toward the build out of the nationwide, interoperable and mission-critical network is boosted tremendously by the Administration’s recent announcements of support and leadership in bringing this to fruition,” stated Oregon Fire Chief Jeff Johnson (ret.), who serves as International Association of Fire Chief’s representative to the PSA.
“We look forward to working with the Obama Administration and the House and Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle in the coming weeks-to-months in order to continue to move this issue forward toward expedited realization of this much needed nationwide capability, and ahead of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11”, said Story County, Iowa Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald, the National Sheriffs Association’s PSA representative.
About Public Safety Alliance
The Public Safety Alliance is a partnership with the nation's leading public safety associations, which includes the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Major County Sheriffs’ Association, the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association, the National Emergency Management Association and the National Association of State EMS Officials. The partnership is operated as a program of APCO International. For more information, visit http://psafirst.org.