Public Safety Broadband Network gets support of IAFC Chairman and President Jeff Johnson
Published on 6 August 2010
IAFC President and Chairman of the Board Jeff Johnson, chief of Tualatin Valley (Ore.) Fire & Rescue, has testified before Congress in support of allocating the 10 MHz of the D Block portion of the 700 MHz band of spectrum directly to public safety to establish a 20 MHz wireless broadband network.
In his testimony before the Emergency Communications, Preparedness and Response Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee, Johnson identified the need for such a nationwide, interoperable communications network. Citing the numerous communications failures that occurred during recent events, such as the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina, Johnson stated, "It is clear that a new model is necessary." This network, according to Chief Johnson, would bring an "endless list" of benefits to the fire and emergency medical services.
Throughout his testimony, Johnson stressed the importance of saving the 10 MHz of the D Block from an impending FCC auction and instead allocating it to the Public Safety Broadband Licensee to facilitate the construction of a truly nationwide, interoperable communications network. Referring to its position directly adjacent to the existing 10 MHz of the Public Safety Broadband Licensee, Johnson discussed the critical nature of the D Block in creating a public-safety broadband network. "Only with this particular spectrum configuration ... can public safety be assured that it will have the ability to build the network it needs now and into the future."
While expressing the support of the IAFC for a nationwide, interoperable communications network, Johnson described several elements key to creating a successful network, including:
Johnson concluded by stating, "We are working tirelessly with members of Congress, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security and others ... to achieve this public-safety communications landmark ... This is yours and our one-time opportunity to get this right.
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