DOD would share airwaves with emergency crews

DOD would share airwaves with emergency crews

The Defense Department is willing to allow limited use of its radio bandwidth by public safety workers, a department report told Congress yesterday.

'We believe it is possible to share portions of the 138- to 144-MHz band with public safety users on a limited, coordinated basis,' Steven Price, deputy assistant secretary of Defense for spectrum and command, control and communications policy, said in a release. He said decisions on sharing the band would be made on a case-by-case basis, but that the department was willing to work with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, state and local governments, and other first responders to emergencies.

DOD's report to Congress was based on the recommendations of its Joint Spectrum Center, which studied ways of sharing bandwidth without interfering with DOD operations.

The department said the 138- to 144-MHz band is still critical to its operations'for air traffic control and ground support at airfields, among other uses'but that sharing communications on a regional basis with nonmilitary crews is helpful in emergencies.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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