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Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
Linda K. Moore (au)
Effective emergency response is dependent on wireless communications. To minimize communications failures during and after a crisis requires ongoing improvements in emergencycommunications capacity and capability. The availability of radio frequency spectrum is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Equally critical is building the radio network to use this spectrum. Opinions diverge, however, on such issues as how much spectrum should be made available for the network, who should own it, who should build it, who should operate it, who should be allowed to use it, and how it might be paid for. As a consequence, nascent planning for a national network is incomplete and some state and local network plans have been delayed. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Contents of this report: (I) The Issues Before Congress: Spectrum Resources: Communications Infrastructure; Public Safety Broadband Network Requirements; Fed. Communications Comm. (FCC) Planning Efforts; National vs. State Planning; Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Planning Efforts; Decisions Are Needed; (II) Proposals for Spectrum Assignment: Broadband Plans and the D Block: Auction the D Block to Commercial Interests; Assign the D Block to Public Safety Licensees; Narrowband Radio Plans; FCC Policy Objectives; (III) Providing Structure: Funding: Summary of Key State and Federal Funding Plans; Governance: The Role of the Federal Government; Concept: Managing Technology and Spectrum Resources: System-of-Systems; Shared Network; Interconnected Networks; IP-Enabled Networks; Adaptive Network Technologies; Network-Centric Spectrum Management; (IV) Conclusion: Models for Change; Opportunities for Change. Appendices: (A) Congressional Efforts on Behalf of Public Safety Communications; (B) Spectrum Allocation and Assignment for Public Safety Needs; (C) Requests to Build Regional Networks in Advance of the Assignment of the D Block.
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