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House, Senate committees hear testimony on interoperability

September 30, 2010

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The establishment of a nationwide interoperability communication system is a safety and security necessity in light of terrorist attacks and natural disasters from the past decade, witnesses testified during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing Sept. 23.

The testimony covered the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act (S. 3756), which would allocate 10 megahertz of spectrum to support a national wireless public safety network. The network would improve communication abilities among first responders in the event of an emergency.

In a separate hearing the same day, members of the House Science and Technology Committee's Technology and Innovation Subcommittee heard testimony on the advancement of the Project 25 standard, a technical standard intended to enable radio interoperability.

Committee members learned that although P25 has developed standards for handheld and portable radio interoperability across manufacturers, standards for network infrastructure components remain incomplete.

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