Senate bill urges action on broadband safety network

Washington – Two senators have introduced a bill they hope will lead to increased public safety and an enhanced wireless communications emergency network.

Passage of the Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization Act (S. 911) would “establish the sense of Congress that Congress should enact, and the President should sign, bipartisan legislation to strengthen public safety and to enhance wireless communications.”

With the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks approaching, many public safety and emergency responder advocates have been calling for the establishment of the network, which would allow easier communication between various responders during an emergency.

The bill was introduced May 9 by Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). Rockefeller introduced a bill in January to establish the framework for the network, including leasing radio spectrum airspace to the public to lower costs for building the network.

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