Federal Communications Commission

9/11 Commissioners: Broadband Plan Can Help Keep Nation's Promise to First Responders

March 15th, 2010 by Jennifer Manner - Deputy Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau

Over six years ago, the 9/11 Commission highlighted the importance of achieving effective nationwide interoperable communications for public safety.  While some improvements have been made, true nationwide interoperability does not yet exist.  The National Broadband Plan’s recommendation on creating a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband wireless network will achieve this vision and enable public safety to take advantage of advanced broadband technology. 

Today, two former members of the 9/11 Commission released this statement in support of the Plan’s recommendation.

Statement of Former 9/11 Commissioners Jamie Gorelick and Slade Gorton
on the Federal Communication Commission's Approach to
Interoperable Communications Capabilities for Public Safety

"The 9/11 Commission on which we served concluded that the absence of interoperable communications capabilities among public safety organizations at the local, state, and federal levels was a problem of the highest order.  Unfortunately, we have made little progress in solving this problem until now.  The Commission's proposed plan offers a clear roadmap for finally reaching that goal.  It will provide public safety users throughout the country with access to wireless broadband capabilities that will enable them to communicate effectively across departments and jurisdictions, while encouraging public safety to partner with commercial providers and leverage the investments they already have made.  It also calls for the public funding that is needed to help build, operate, and maintain the public safety network.  To be sure, there are still some issues that need to be worked out, such as whether the 10 MHz of spectrum currently dedicated to public safety is sufficient to meet its needs.  But the FCC's plan offers a realistic framework to move forward, and we hope that all stakeholders will work with the Commission to refine the plan as needed and make it a reality."

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